Hello all back!!!
I have to confess something… I kind of became a kind of vegetarian. It’s not like I feel shame of or anything like that – i would rather say feeling angry not thinking like this before – the fact is that I don’t eat meat and hardly any fish. I don’t choose these to fill my stomach, this is the way how I disagree with this weird and awkward relationship between humanity and food industry . And obviously I love animals anyway – so it was easy to click my brain – I think it wasn’t even me by purpose , its just happened. So the reason i said I’m kindof veggie in a kindof way – because I’m still a chef and I still love my job very much. Unfortunately with my change in brain can’t change all the people eating habits, so I still cook ‘everydayfood’ for everyday people. Still prep, cut, cook and taste all what I have to. This is my professional.
But. I do try pushing my people to eat less meat and more veg. If there is any future left to the mankind it’s gonna be meatless I’m sure. I have more doubt of having future at all. Still im not here to change anybody s eating habits but to show u some weird stuff I tried recently.
I have a couple of vegan friends around me – and they inspire me all the time. Last story was ‘the ribs’.
I literally went to London and looked for that junkie fast food place what’s serves vegan seitan ribs every day. So the company itself is the Temple of Seitan and the very recently opened place name was Lost Rivers. I went there with a friend on my day off and tried the vegan ribs. HM. INTERESTING. In a scale from 1-10 we all agreed (two of us hehehe) in a 7. Because they did have an amazing BBQ sauce, the ‘meaty’ part was quite good but they all went wrong with the ‘boney’ part. I even asked what was it (seemed to be more a burned pastry) cause was pretty unpleasant to chew on, more like the happy bites u would give to your dog after a hard day. Anyway. Point 7. But I was more than sure that with a tiny bit of attention it can go up to 9. That was the plan.
But first of all let me introduce u very briefly to ‘seitan’ itself. It’s a very good thing and not something recently developed – only the society never needed it really so nobody talked about it before. I hate this expression but ‘seitan is the vegan meat’. Basically it’s a plant based something which has more protein in than regular meat (specially nowadays ‘chickengrowinginthebox’ nutritional value). It’s coming from our well known wheat – all the starch being washed out so have nothing left but a crazy amount of protein. It’s running under a name of ‘Gluten wheat’ . So seitan is basically a final product using this gluten powder what u season as u wish – the most common thing is obviously to use all the umami flavours to reach ‘the meatball effect’. Nice to meet u Mr. Seitan.
I had no doubt in myself -as usual- that I can make amazing ribs reaching the number 9. And I had this deal with my head chef, that if I can make it as nice as even he ll like it- it’s free to go on the menu at the restaurant. So hmmmmmm the pressure is just quite as high as I like it.
As u can guess, Gluten wheat is not as common that u ll find in every supermarket. Whatsoever. I needed to order from Amazon (i did find it in only one very special superfood store but tiny amount for crazy price). And I was doing a little research online of course, just dig into a couple of seitan recipes to feel more confident. AND obviously needed a very good substitute for those chewy dogfood bones. Shopping list (u can find pretty good seitan recipes online so I won’t bother with it really):
Gluten wheat, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, peanut butter, soy sauce, liquid smoke, veggie broth. That’s the rib mix. Oh yes, the bone part… I found Yuba. Yuba is basically soya milk skin paper what u can find usually in asian stores in dry version. Very cool stuff as far as i can tell. And works perfectly as the ‘bone’ part cause it remains crunchy outside with a nice texture but soft inside.
Another important thing here is the BBQ sauce. I have a gorgeous recipe but u must love heat:
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp ground szechuan pepper
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground star anise
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp ground blackpepper
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2tbsp sunflower oil
Okey- it’s time to make those ribs now cause we are all so hungry.
I was using my very pink kitchen aid to mix the ingredients together – but obviously u can do it by hand. Don’t forget – as long u mix as more flexible it ll be – what’s good in case of pasta or bread -but here we want something less chewy and more soft. So mix gently and as little as possible.
First get all your dry ingredients, mix it then add all the wet stuff. If u ve never been a part of a pigs killing celebration ceremony, well this is what a raw chorizo looks and smells like. Pretty delisssh thanx to the smoked paprika.
Now turn on the oven to 180degrees. Time to pay a bit of attention to Yuba. So posts flying all over the rainbow 😁 that u need to soak your Yuba a night before to get it softened. i found this bullsh#t cause my yuba papers became supersoft and flexible just after pouring my water over. It took maybe 5minutes or so. And we don’t want them in pieces anyway – after soaking they become quite delicate. Now u can cut to the size u want. I rolled them to look like more a ‘bone’. Time to get your seitan mix all over your yubasticks and arrange them nicely in your oventray over a baking paper of course (unless u have plenty of spare time to scrape off burned things).
Footnote: Don’t cover the Yuba too much with seitan – not because it isnt yummy but looks more authentic and ‘fake’ if there is less ‘meat’ on it -just think about the amount of real meat u have on the ribs
Now bake your seitan for 20minutes in the oven. At this point u can take them out and finish off on a nice BBQ grill at your backyard brushing with your amazing Chinese BBQ sauce if u are lucky enough to have all these 🤣 or u can just brush them with your sauce and put back to the oven for another 10minutes to caramelize the sauce all over (u can finish in a pan as well on the stove).
Using real fire (blowtorch) to burn the edges of the Yuba gives a very cool touch! Serve it with fresh crunchy leaves, sweetcorn and\or juicy tomatoes. I added a couple extra drops of my mango&habanero chilli sauce so I could have used a nice pot of cool mint raita as a condiment 😊