Once upon a time, in a land far away from where I am now…there were two things I loved with passion: barbecue ribs and blues music (at the same time)! I still love the blues! I love to play the blues, I love to sing the blues and I love to listen to the blues but something has been missing: barbecue ribs. You see, in Minneapolis there is a joint that is all about live blues music and barbecue ribs. Since becoming a vegan I often wondered if I would ever be able to experience these flavors again. I guess it’s memories like these that often drive my madness in the kitchen! So after giving it some thought for a while I decided to try to make vegan BBQ ribs, here is how I did it:
You will need some tofu cut into strips. Use as much tofu as you would like because this recipe makes a lot of sauce! After cutting your tofu in strips you will want to put 2 Tablespoons of vegan butter and a thin layer of olive oil into a large frying pan. Place the pan over medium heat on the stove. Grill two sides of the tofu strips for 3 to 4 minutes each. This process is done to help the tofu hold together better during one of the later steps. Remove from heat and set aside.
Now for the most important part: the special BBQ sauce! Here are the ingredients:
- 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 3/4 cup of diced red onions
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- dash of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger powder
- 1 cup of organic raw brown cane sugar
- 2 cups of organic ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons of organic mustard
- 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons of gluten free vegan Worcester sauce
- 1/4 cup of organic black strap molasses
- 1/4 cup of agave syrup
- 1/2 Tablespoon of lemon juice
- dash of your favorite gluten free vegan hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum*
*do not add the xanthan gum until the very end of the process. Keep reading for further instructions
In a large frying pan (you could even use the same one you grilled the tofu in, if it’s large enough) pour the 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and place the pan over medium-low heat. Once the oil heats up a bit add the onions and the minced garlic. Stir and saute for about 2 minutes. Then add all the dry ingredients EXCEPT THE XANTHAN GUM! this includes the sugar. Stir and keep stirring occasionally as you proceed to add all the liquid ingredients. Once you have added all the ingredients (again, except the xanthan gum) stir until mixed completely.
Next, add the tofu strips into the mixture and bring the sauce to a simmer. You may want to cover the frying pan as the sauce will jump a bit. This is why you grilled the tofu strips earlier because they will get too soft if you do not and might fall apart. The reasoning for putting the tofu strips in the sauce mixture is to allow the flavors to penetrate the tofu. Continue to simmer the tofu strips for 15 minutes, then, very carefully remove them with a spatula and place them on the serving plate.
Once you have removed all of your tofu strips from the sauce add the 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum to the sauce now! Continue simmering the sauce while stirring in the xanthan gum. Cover the frying pan after the gum has been mixed in completely and continue to simmer the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour as much of the sauce over your tofu strip ribs as you would like!
Finally, crank up your favorite blues music and enjoy!