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.