♥ Vegan sticky BBQ spare ribs

PS rib lift

Yes, they’re vegan!

Tonight I had the tea that dreams are made of…. vegan sticky barbecue spare ribs!

*mmmm, spare ribs*.

Before I turned veggie, I’d do BBQ ribs at least once a month. Well, it’s officially been a year since I last ate meat (let alone a spare rib) so I am feeling rather smug with myself for coming up with this recipe!

It’s quite a laborious process as the recipe involves making your own seitan, but it’s so worth it.
The results of your hard work are succulent “ribs” with a crispy, sweet sticky coating and a good meaty bite….

And the fun part is, I used wooden lollipop sticks to represent the bone 🙂

PS rib bones

Vegan sticky BBQ spare rib recipe:



(Credit where credits due, I did loosely base my seitan on this lovely recipe:  http://yeahthatveganshit.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/favorite-quick-seitan-recipe.html, but I made several changes in order to make a more barbequey flavour rather than a chickeney one.)

  • 3 x cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 x teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 4 x minced garlic cloves
  • 3 x tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 x cups of vital wheat gluten
  • 0.5 x cups gram flour
  • 0.5 x cups nutritional yeast
  • 2 x teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 x teaspoons Tabasco sauce (I used the chipotle chilli one for extra flavour)
  • 2 x teaspoons black pepper


  • 2 x tablespoons olive oil
  • 0.5 x teaspoons black pepper
  • 3 x teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 x teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 x tablespoons tomato paste
  • 0.5 x red onion (finely diced)
  • 1 x tablespoon treacle
  • 2 x tablespoons golden syrup
  • 4 x tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 x teaspoon Tabasco sauce (I used the chipotle chilli one for extra flavour)
  • 1 x teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 x tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 x tablespoon of smokey BBQ spice mix (Make your own or I used Old El Paso’s for fajitas)



  1. First you have to make your seitan!
  2. Whisk together cooled vegetable broth, olive oil, garlic, soy sauce and Tabasco sauce.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the wheat gluten, paprika, gram flour, nutritional yeast and pepper. Make a well in the centre of these dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir well with a wooden spoon until everything is combined and a soft dough is formed.
  5. Next, you can either knead the dough for ages until you see the strands of stretchy gluten forming, or you can do what I did and chuck it into your mixer and knead the f*ck out of it using the dough attachment. You should end up with a soft but stretchy lump of seitany goodness:PS Seitan rib
  6. You now need to get the dough onto the lollipop sticks. The best way I found was to stretch a bit of seitan over the stick, then twist the stick so that the seitan wraps around it. Once you have the right amount of “meat” on the “bone”, use your hand to try and mould the seitan into a rib shape.PS rib wrap PS raw rib
    PS rib mould
  7. Wrap each rib loosely in a bit of tinfoil (I managed to get 16 ribs out of my dough), and put into a steamer for 30 minutes. PS rib steam
  8. Allow to cool and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.


  1. Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and then stir in the pepper, smoked paprika and turmeric.
  2. Then add the onions and just as they start to soften, stir in the tomato paste, BBQ seasoning, soy sauce and tabasco.
  3. Once heated through, add a little water to thin the tomato paste out and add the ketchup, treacle, golden syrup and sugar. Mix well with a wooden spoon and heat until the sauce starts to boil.
  4. Next add your spare ribs and roll them around to coat them. Leave boiling until the sauce starts to stick to the ribs.
  5. Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a clean frying pan and using tongues add the spare ribs. (N.B.: Try to let a little of  the sauce drip off the ribs before frying – you don’t want them to be too thickly smothered as if allowed to cool, the sauce goes very chewy. This is nice in the right quantity as it gives a lovely authentic crispy crust to the ribs, but too much would be like eating meaty bonfire toffee! )
  6. Whilst the ribs are frying, add some hot water from the kettle to the remainder of the BBQ sauce to thin it down. This is heavenly when poured over chips ♥
  7. Once the ribs have started to go black round the edges, they are ready to serve! I had oven wedges (as prepared by the other half) with mine. *drool*
  8. PS ribs plate 

I gave myself six ribs, but this was far too much – four would have been plenty. Luckily for me, ratties seem to love vegan spare ribs too, so the little fatties shared my last one between them.

Bon appetit!









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7 thoughts on “♥ Vegan sticky BBQ spare ribs

  1. Pingback: Tips, Tricks, Etc. for Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan - VeggieBoards - A Vegetarian Community

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  4. Hi, just made this and tested one-they’re gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t wait to show them off to my friends!

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