Gluten Free and Vegan Boneless Spare-no-ribs

I recently bought four bags of Butler soy curls from Veganessentials.com because they are my favorite gluten free vegan meat substitute. I use this recipe I love for Sweet and Sour Soy Curls, and while I was making it, I realized that soy curls are the perfect shape, size, and texture for trying to replicate Chinese boneless spare ribs. It’s mostly a coincidence that I happen to have perfected the recipe and am posting it on Chinese New Year, although once I realized the coincidence it pushed me to post this faster than I normally would.

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Today starts the year of the Red Monkey according to Chinese astrology. I was born under the year of the rat. When I looked up my Chinese horoscope for the new year for fun, it said I might have a good year, with some luck in career stuff, education, and romance. I hope so!

Gluten Free and Vegan Boneless Spare-no-ribs

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Butler Soy Curls
  • Enough water to cover dry soy curls in a bowl
  • ¼ cup mirin wine

Marinade:

  • 1 tbsp gluten free hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp cherry jam or preserves
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp five spice powder
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp egg replacer powder without water added
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp cherry jam or preserves
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup gluten free soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Reconstitute the soy curls in the liquid for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Drain and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. You can use a clean dish towel to help with this process. Place in a ziplock type bag or bowl.
  3. Prepare the marinade in a food processor or whisk vigorously until smooth.
  4. Pour into the ziplock bag or bowl with the soy curls.
  5. Shake or stir the soy curls so that they are fully coated with the marinade. Allow to marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
  6. Before frying the ribs, make the sauce. Stir all ingredients in a small saucepan together and heat over medium heat until warm.
  7. Add in the cornstarch and water and continuously whisk until it thickens and bubbles.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Toss 2 tbsp cornstarch, potato starch, and powdered egg replacer into the bag/bowl and again coat the marinated soy curls.
  10. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Allow it to get hot. Place the soy curls into the pan (they should sizzle if the oil is hot enough), and stir until coated and brown. The coconut oil should have fully absorbed. Don’t stir too long or they might start to stick together too much.
  11. Turn the heat to low and stir in the sauce.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

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What the sauce looks like when done.

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Dig in!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! 😀

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To-fu Young Recipe

Oh man, I messed up this time on Vegan MoFo towards the end. Just wasn’t feeling it as much. I think I would have preferred a theme I had chosen and developed a bit more.

But, onward and upwards, so the saying goes?

I have a new recipe to share. Also, I’m very tired from not sleeping well and having run a 5k race today.

The other day I remembered egg fu young, and was like, “why haven’t I made this vegan yet?” so…I did.

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To-fu Young with gravy recipe

Gravy ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

To-fu Young Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup shredded celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional if allergic, use another oil or no oil at all)
  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 1/2 tsp Indian black salt (the kind that smells like eggs)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • dash white pepper
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tbsp egg replacer powder (I use Ener-g)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Peanut oil (or canola if you’re allergic to nuts) for frying

Directions for gravy:

  1. Mix all ingredients except cornstarch and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Heat until bubbling.
  3. Add cornstarch and water mix while whisking constantly.
  4. Continue to whisk until the gravy thickens.
  5. Serve on top of To-fu Young when ready

Directions for To-fu Young

  1. Cook all veggies all together with the sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until soft and the mushrooms have become darker.
  2. Turn off heat.
  3. Break the tofu block in half. Crumble one half into small pieces into the pan with the vegetables are in. Stir well.
  4. Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend well until it becomes a thick liquid batter.
  5. Fold into the vegetables and tofu, stirring well.
  6. To fry them up, I used an electric fryer that we use for making potato latkes because I thought it would work better than doing it in a frying pan. You can definitely do it in a frying pan though if you have one that doesn’t stick too much with this sort of stuff (I don’t).
  7. Heat the oil (you want about a half inch of oil or more) until some of the batter begins to sizzle when flicked in.
  8. Place large spoonfuls of the batter into the oil. Cook on one side and then flip when the side is browned. If not ready yet keep frying it on the side until it becomes crispy and brown. I would have tried to be more mindful of time, but it can vary so much depending on your equipment and your ability to keep the temperature of the oil stable.
  9. When both sides are sufficiently browned and crispy, place on a paper towel on a plate to soak up some of the oil and cool.
  10. Serve with rice and the brown gravy.IMG_5449

Vegan “shrimp” Bao

So before I went vegan I was obsessed with the non-vegan version of these that I would buy at Trader Joe’s. Recently I was longing to eat something like it again, but wanted it to be vegan of course.

vegan bao

I did not want to attempt on my own to create a recipe for the Chinese Bao (steamed bun) dough myself, as I have never tried to make these before…so I referenced this recipe for that. I also had found the perfect vegan “shrimp” seitan recipe  online long ago, so I decided to make that instead of coming up with something entirely original. The part that was all my own was how I cooked the shrimp seitan to fill the bao with.

Also, I recommend a using a large steamer if you want to make this recipe. If you do not have one, I do not know what to recommend in order for them to come out right. I imagined trying to steam on the stove in a saucepan sized steamer, all 24 bao, and it just seemed impossible. Luckily, I remembered that I had found an electric steamer for free from the Providence Really, Really Free Market awhile ago (that I had never used since picking it up, of course, haha) and used that and it worked smashingly well.

Here is what I did:

I made the recipe for the “shrimp” seitan the night before. I had baked some sweet potatoes and just pureed them with a small amount of water in the food processor beforehand. Also, because it’s slightly unclear, the “gluten flour” they reference is actually vital wheat gluten flour. I used kelp granules instead of dulse.

The next day (you need quite a bit of inactive time to make these, so do not try to make these if you need to be out of the house or an hour before dinner! Read the directions carefully so you know how much time to allot) you make the dough from the recipe. Towards the end of the time that the dough is sitting for 2 hours, you will want to make the filling with the “shrimp” seitan according to my recipe:

vegan shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, mince
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 batch of “shrimp” seitan 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a saute pan.
  2. Add garlic and ginger stir in the oil until fragrant.
  3. Add the “shrimp” seitan
  4. Cook until the seitan starts to become shiny and turns a slight golden brown color
  5. Add soy sauce and sriracha, mix until thoroughly coated
  6. Add chives and stir to disperse throughout the seitan shrimp batch

Then get back to the bun recipe. I did not follow the recipe exactly as it said. I basically did not care about making them super pretty, so I did not roll out the dough I had sectioned into 24 pieces. I just smooshed them down with my hands, worked them into a circle with my fingers, placed a small amount of the shrimp filling inside, and then pinched the dough closed around the filling. Then resumed the rest of the recipe’s instructions.

I used two layers in my steamer, and the first layer that was closest to the steam was done probably in 15-20 minutes. I took that basket out, so it would stop cooking, and moved the top one down. That took another 15 minutes at least. You just want them to start looking less like dough, and more like a very soft bread.

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That’s it, enjoy them! I wish I could have figured out a way for them to have more sauce in them, but I think it would have been too difficult to pull off when steaming them, anyhow. Overall, quite yummy!