It's #ThrowbackThursday so I thought I'd throw it back to these amazing ribs from Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen. This was one of those recipes that gave me goosebumps. It's one of those things that my dad would eat. And he never likes to eat "weird vegan food." So, that, my folks, is a vote of approval if I've ever seen one.
Hot, Sweet, and Sour Sauce
*Quick and Easy *Low Fat *Nut Free
This sauce works well as a dipping sauce, tossed with your favorite protein to coat, and is an essential ingredient in the Hot, Sweet, and Sour Seitan Ribs with Lemongrass Bones.
2 cups (470 ml) pineapple juice
1/4 cup (68 g) ketchup
2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup (32 g) cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water to make a slurry
In a pot, stir together all the ingredients except the cornstarch slurry, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the slurry and remove from the heat. Stir to thicken.
Keep warm until ready to use, or pour in to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Yield: 3 cups (705 ml)
Hot, Sweet, and Sour Seitan Ribs with Lemongrass Bones
The lemongrass used for the “bones” in these ribs gives a nice citrusy aroma to the seitan, besides looking eerily like the real thing. I know this looks like a long list of ingredients, but it comes together pretty easily, with lots of downtime.
3 cups (432 g) vital wheat gluten flour
1/2 cup (60 g) whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (160 g) diced yellow onion
1/2 cup (50 g) diced scallion
1 tablespoon (10 g) minced garlic
2 cups (470 ml) Hot, Sweet, and Sour Sauce, divided
1 cup (235 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (34 g) ketchup
2 tablespoons (30 ml) sesame oil
1 tablespoon (15 g) Chinese hot mustard or Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
5 stalks lemongrass
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the vital wheat gluten flour, whole wheat pastry flour, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, salt, yellow onion, scallion, and garlic.
In a separate bowl whisk together 1 cup (235 ml) of the Hot, Sweet, and Sour Sauce, water, soy sauce, olive oil, ketchup, sesame oil, hot mustard, Sriracha, and liquid smoke. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until combined. Knead in the bowl until a very elastic dough is formed. Some of the onions will fall out. That’s okay. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Try to flatten the pieces of dough into a rectangular shape and place on the baking sheet. The dough is still very elastic, making this step fairly difficult, and that is normal. Allow to rest for an additional 20 minutes.
While the dough is resting, remove any dirty outer layers from the lemongrass and cut each stalk into 4 equal pieces (20 pieces total).
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
Once again, attempt to form the dough into rectangles. It should be a little easier this time, as the gluten should have relaxed a little by this point. Push 5 stalks of the lemongrass through each piece of dough, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Repeat until all 4 pieces each have 5 bones. Brush each “rack” of ribs with a generous layer of the remaining 1 cup (235 ml) Hot, Sweet, and Sour Sauce on both sides.
Gather up all of the onions that have fallen out of the dough and sprinkle them on top of the ribs (they will stick to the sauce). Cover the entire pan loosely with foil, to create a steam tent. Bake for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, remove from the oven, remove the foil, flip, brush on another thick layer of sauce, and return to the oven for 30 more minutes, uncovered. The outside crust should be tough and caramelized from the sugars in the sauce, giving the ribs a nice meaty bite, but the insides will be soft, tender, and chewy. Remove from the oven and brush on a final layer of sauce before serving. Do not eat the lemongrass bones.
Yield: 4 racks of ribs