Oven-Barbecued Seitan with Curried Sweet Potato Fries

We had a few sweet potatoes in the fridge, so I googled my way to yummy-looking and very simple curried sweet potato fries. Then it occurred to me that we hadn’t made our favorite seitan recipe for a while, and that it would be a great compliment to the fries. The spicy sweet curry fries and the salty barbecued ribs, dipped in garlicky soy yogurt sauce – completely worth the effort even on a weekday night!

The recipe we’ve been using for our seitan ribs comes from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. It’s called Barbecued Seitan Ribz, and is based on a recipe from the Vegan Chef. The latter recipe actually describes the oven cooking method we used, since barbecuing really isn’t an option for us. What follows is our version, essentially a gently modified double batch of of the two above mentioned recipes, which makes enough ribs for 5-6 persons. The main difference in terms of ingredients is that we used fresh garlic and fried onions instead of the powdered ones used in the original recipes, and that I also made my own barbecue sauce.

BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 dl light soy sauce
  • 2 dl mild vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons muscovado sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fried onions
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: dried thyme, dried oregano, crushed red chili
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

First, I whisked together evetything but the liquid smoke and the olive oil, and then simmered the sauce over low heat for about 20 minutes. Then I added the smoke and the oil, and mixed with an immersion blender until smooth. This sauce is pretty salty, so reducing the amount of soy sauce and upping the veggie stock might be a good idea to make it less so.

The Ribs (for 5-6):

  • 5 dl wheat gluten
  • 3 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons fried onion, crushed
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 and 1/2 dl water
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

Heikki first mixed the wheat gluten, paprika, yeast, and onion together in a large bowl. Then he combined the water with the tahini, liquid smoke, garlic, and soy sauce, whisked until smooth, and added this to the dry ingredients. Now, he stirred to mix well, and then kneaded the dough lightly in the bowl for a couple of minutes.

Now, I covered our rectangular baking dish (30 cm x 20cm) with a sheet of baking parchment, and Heikki flattened the seitan dough in the dish. This takes a little bit of time and effort, since the dough should be quite stringy at this point. Heikki cut the seitan in 16 strips, then turned the pan and cut those strips in half to form 16 pieces (as per Susan’s instructions).

We baked the ribs and the fries in 175 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes, then turned the heat up to 200 degrees, flipped the ribs, and poured half of the barbecue sauce over them. Now, we baked them for 10 more minutes, then flipped them again, poured the rest of the sauce over them, and baked them for about 10 minutes more. This makes 45 minutes total baking time.

Curry Sweet Potato Fries (for 4):

  • 3 sweet potatoes (1 kg)
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: ginger powder and cumin (jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

First, I peeled and cut the sweet potatoes in chunky fries, and then placed all the ingredients in a big bowl. I tossed the fries until they were all coated with the curry powder, and then poured them on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment. I baked the fries with the ribs: first in 175 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes, and then in 200 degrees for about 20 minutes more. We tossed them around once during baking.

These fries didn’t get very crispy, but they did hold their shape nicely, since we kept them in the oven until their tips were a little charred.


  1. Posted April 29, 2008 at 23:20 | Permalink

    Wow! What are you celebrating? ;-) I still have to try my own seitan…

  2. Anni
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 13:04 | Permalink

    Alice – this is such an easy method for making seitan, and the results aren’t spongy like some cooked wheat gluten things can be. And I bet it works with all kinds of sauces, not just barbecue!

  3. Posted April 30, 2008 at 22:55 | Permalink

    Wow those look delicious!

  4. Posted May 1, 2008 at 00:05 | Permalink

    Wow! That looks so comforting. I love a good down-home meal of seitan BBQ and fries!

  5. Posted May 1, 2008 at 04:21 | Permalink

    Wow that looks absolutely delicious! I just came across your blog and I’m excited to read all of it!

    I added you to my google reader so I won’t miss any updates :)

  6. Posted May 2, 2008 at 03:59 | Permalink

    This looks so yummy. Homemade barbecue sauce is always the best!

  7. Posted June 5, 2008 at 14:57 | Permalink

    I made these today. I followed the recipe to a T, kind of. I made loads of substitutions: didn’t have Spanish paprika (where can you buy it in Helsinki?) so used normal paprika and a little chipotle sauce, didn’t have apple cider vinegar so used mirin, white vinegar and a sprinkle of lemon juice, for sugar I used muscovado, normal brown sugar and maple syrup, for liquid smoke I used smoke salt (I used reduced salt soy sauce for the most part) and used powdered garlic and onion. I also added some black pepper, cumin and 1 tbsp of tomato puree to the sauce.

    Other than that I followed the instructions completely. Unfortunately, the result was way too bready like I feared. It’s not HK:n sininen like bready, as was the last baked seitan recipe I tried (yikes!) which didn’t feature any broth/liquid, but it tastes too much like bread rolls soaked in barbeque sauce. Especially the edges and corners are like buns.

    I wonder what I’m doing wrong. Some people over at Susan’s site also complained about bready results. Unfortunately I don’t think my boyfriend will eat this stuff, so I have to figure out something else to eat for the weekend. :-/

  8. Anni
    Posted June 5, 2008 at 22:39 | Permalink

    Hi Maija, I honestly don’t know what’s wrong! Too bad it didn’t work out the way you wanted, we’ve always had good luck with this recipe. I know what you mean about bready though, we’ve had that problem with other recipes. But this never tasted like bread rolls to us, very meat-like (even too much so).

    The only thing we can think of is to make the seitan ribz as thin as you can – that might help with the texture!

    We just barbecued a few Soja Big Steaks by Vantastic foods, bought at Ekolo, and they were extremely meaty – you should try to feed them to your boyfriend! Just boiled in peppery veggie broth for 10 minutes, marinated in bbq sauce and garlic, and barbecued till crispy – yum!

  9. chris
    Posted December 17, 2009 at 18:51 | Permalink

    Next time you make your fries. Take your cut potatoes, flash boil them until you can pierce them with a fork or skewer. (Don’t overcook them or they’ll start to fall apart!) Then drain, pat dry on some kind of towels, season, lightly oil and stick them in the oven.
    You’ll find the outside will crisp up nicely and the inside will stay light and fluffy.

    BTW the ‘ribs’ look yummy.

  10. Anni
    Posted December 17, 2009 at 20:25 | Permalink

    Chris – I’ve seen that done here and there, but never gotten around to actually doing it myself – I guess I’m just lazy that way and try to avoid any extra steps.

  11. Kelly McShane
    Posted August 29, 2010 at 21:43 | Permalink

    I’m so excited to try this recipe!! It looks amazing!

    Do you have the recipe for the garlic yogurt fry dipping sauce too?

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