Updated: Nov 7, 2019
These ribs have been tweaked within an inch of their lives to get the taste and the texture right, but here we have vegan, Chinese style spare ribs! They are made with a mix of jackfruit and vital wheat gluten, and although these are Chinese style, the basic recipe lends itself to different flavours, like BBQ or salt and pepper.
We, however, are a little ribbed out at our house. I even have a batch ready to take to work tomorrow as there have been so many delicious, but not quite right productions. I am really pleased with these, and even impressed my omni partner who plans to sneak them by his staunchly meat eating buddy. They are spicy, meaty and have a crispy caramelised crunch on the edges.
The end product is pretty much fat free, with a decent amount of protein and some fibre. I haven't added salt to the recipe as the chicken seasoning has salt in, as does the soy sauce and the hoisin sauce, so you shouldn't need it.
The chicken seasoning, despite it's name is actually vegan! I got mine from Morrisons, but seems quite readily available from bigger supermarkets. Even jackfruit is the norm at my Morrisons and Asda which is great to see!
Once cooked through, the ribs freeze really well, just defrost, before reheating in a hot oven to heat through and crisp up
This amount serves 2/3 people, and can easily be doubled to make more
The "bones" are just wooden lolly sticks and optional
They work really well with my Stir Fry Vegetable Noodles, recipe here!
1 400g tins jackfruit in water or brine, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of water
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp chinese 5 spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tbsp chicken seasoning
1/2 tsp chilli powder
50ml dark soy sauce
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
12 wooden lolly sticks (optional)
Put the jackfruit into a pan with the half cup of cup of water, the onion powder, garlic powder, 5 spice, ginger chicken seasoning, soy sauce and chilli powder. Bring to a gentle boil and then cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
I don't like the big seeds, so I remove them at this point. Roughly mash the jackfruit with a fork or potato masher so there are no hard, big lumps left. Set aside to cool
Preheat the oven to 200C
Add the VWG to either the breadmaker, mixer with dough hook, or bowl. Mix in the jackfruit mix and knead well with whichever method for around 5 minutes.
Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper and form a flat rough rectangle shape in the centre of the tray. If you are adding lolly sticks, then now is the time to push them evenly spaced into the mix down one side. Tuck any loose bits of jackfruit in to neaten off with your fingertip
Mix the hoisin sauce, chilli flakes and rice vinegar together, and with a pastry brush, brush half of it over the rib mix on the tray. Sprinkle with half the sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes
After the 35 minutes, remove the part baked ribs from the oven an cover with a fresh piece of greaseproof paper. With the aid of a kitchen towel, flip the tray over so the ribs lie on the fresh paper turned over. Very carefully and slowly, peel the paper from what is now the top of the ribs. Using the kitchen towel and the paper, ease back onto the tray with the fresh piece of paper on the bottom. Cover with the remaining sauce and seeds and bake for a further 25 minutes
Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Put a large chopping board over the top of the baking tray, flip over, then tip out, again carefully peel away the paper. Cut the baked ribs into rib sized fingers and serve. You will need a really sharp knife for this
These freeze really well, and work best if you leave 10 minutes off the second cooking time, and then bake on a high heat after defrosting