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It’s the texture, it’s the sauce, it’s the ‘ribs’ which are made of plants rather than an animal’s carcass — it’s all of it! A thoroughly rewarding cooking experience complete with the satisfaction of tearing apart your set of ribs and eating them ‘bones’ and all.

You will need

Serves 2

  • 1 bunch enoki mushrooms
  • 300g young jackfruit, drained from brine (400-565g tin needed)
  • 250ml (1 cup) dark beer
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon red miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 330g vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tablespoons torula yeast, nutritional yeast or mushroom seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon vegan pork-style stock powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Rib Glaze

  • 1/2 Asian pear
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke

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Directions

30 mins to prep

45 mins to cook

Step 1

Cut away and reserve the hard cores from the jackfruit pieces, then squeeze the fruit so that any seeds pop out and any excess liquid is removed. Gently pull the jackfruit pieces to make them stringy, then rinse away the remaining brine under warm running water. Squeeze the jackfruit dry.

Step 2

Place the jackfruit cores, beer, soy sauce, tahini, miso, tomato paste and liquid smoke in a blender and blend to combine well.

Step 3

In a large bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, torula yeast or mushroom seasoning, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, stock powder and pepper. Pour in the blended ingredients and combine with a fork to form a dough. Add the shredded jackfruit and work it until you form a cohesive ball.

Step 4

Rest the dough for 10 minutes, then halve and use your hands to knot and shape them into even long rectangular slabs. Cut the enoki mushroom group into the right size and place them at evenly-spaced out sections on one of the seitan slabs with the clumped-together part of the mushrooms sticking out of the slab like a bone. Sandwich it together with the second slab and forcefully attach everything together by pressing hard.

Step 5

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Alternatively, prepare a charcoal barbecue and wait until the coals are covered in a thin layer of ash.

Step 6

Coat the dough in the sesame oil. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add the dough slab and sear on each side for 3 minutes to form a crust. Flip carefully!

Step 7

Blend the glaze ingredients with 2 tablespoons of water and microwave on high for 1 minute to thicken. 

Step 8

Carefully transfer the ribs to the heat. Cook for 10 minutes, then brush the top of the ribs with half the glaze. Cook for another 25-30 minutes, basting once more.

 

Step 9

Allow to cool for 20 minutes before attempting to divvy up. You can also smoke the ribs instead or use an infusion smoker after baking to add that real barbecue flavour that truly says ‘my species has mastered fire’.

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