Vegan Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs

7 Comments

 

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

5-10-16 (126)

5-10-16 (140)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

5-10-16 (158)

One of my all-time favorite foods, since childhood, is BBQ ribs – especially of the Chinese variety.  Sticky, sweet & chewy – just delicious.  I lived above a Chinese take-out while I was in high school & smelled this shit cooking every day & never tired of it.  Even as the grease filled the air & I could feel my skin breaking out – I still craved these all the time – even if I only let myself have them on special occasions – mainly because I perceived them as extremely fattening and bad for you.

Then I gave up meat in the eighties & all ribs of all varieties fell forever from my diet.

Still – I craved that BBQ sauce & would have my mother send me the Ah-So Sauce (below)  – a brand not available in Los Angeles – and I would stir it into rice or dip vegetables in it.  It was not nearly as satisfying as ribs but I learned to live with it.

5-10-16 (78)

5-10-16 (79)

Chinese BBQ pork is called Char Siu.  Lee Kum Kee brand is widely available & certainly available online.  I saw this jar on a shelf & a great idea popped into my mind.  Why not make BBQ pork using Beyond Meat vegan chicken?  Why not, indeed!  Their chicken strips have a texture that can be experienced as chicken OR pork – as pork & chicken really do have a very similar quality.   And – I also decided to make the Char Siu sauce from scratch.  The ingredients are not terribly exotic & can certainly be purchased online – if your local ethnic or regular grocery stores don’t have them all.  The result was visually vibrant & the flavor is dead on.  I recommend this dish very highly!  You could also chop these “ribs” up & make a pork fried rice that would feel even the most deenerate carnivore.

I marinated the chicken overnight (in the bag) but that is totally unnecessary.  You can whip these up in ten minutes & feel all take-out Chinese-y & get your late night, OMG-I-drank-too-much experience right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

5-10-16 (120)

5-10-16 (149)

Vegan Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs

Serves 2 as an appetizer – double the marinade recipe if you like lots of BBQ sauce on your ribs

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken (or seitan strips)

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice

2 TBS agave nectar

2 TBS Shao Xing Chinese rice wine

1 TBS hoisin sauce

1 TBS Thai chili sauce

1 TBS dark soy sauce

2 tsp vegan oyster or mushroom-flavored sauce

2 tsp molasses

1 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS sesame oil

1 tsp red food coloring (critical for the fiery red color)

GARNISH (optional) – sliced scallions or green garlic

5-10-16 (61)

5-10-16 (62)

5-10-16 (63)

5-10-16 (66)

DIRECTIONS

Blend all the ingredients together & then add the chicken.  Marinate for a few minutes – or overnight.  I did this right in the Beyond Meat packaging.

5-10-16 (65)

5-10-16 (67)

When you are ready to cook them – heat a pan treated with cooking spray.  Add the MARINADE first & heat until it bubbles.  Add the chicken & cook, on high, turning often.  The idea is to let them get a bit blackened.  The sauce will thicken very quickly – which is why I suggesting doubling the marinade recipe if you like lots of sticky BBQ sauce.  You could even heat part of the marinade in a separate pan & pour it over your finished ribs.

5-10-16 (115).JPG

5-10-16 (131)

5-10-16 (137)

5-10-16 (121)

5-10-16 (122)

5-10-16 (143)

7 thoughts on “Vegan Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs

  1. Your recipes look so great but are they VEGAN? If they are, why do you call them “pork”, “ribs”, etc.? These names worry me-even the IDEA of comparing vegan or vegetarian food puts me off, terribly. I would like to know if there are animal products or not in your recipes- Thanks for any eventual response-

    Joyce Shulman (an American, living in Italy) geminijoyce@gmail.com

    Like

    • Thanks! I am confused that – as a vegan – you have never heard of vegan “meat” referred to as fish or chicken or beef etc. Gardein & Beyond Meat & Field Roast & Tofurkey etc all make fake meats & indicate which meat it is they are replicating. Just like vegan milks & butter & cheese. None of them really ARE milk, butter or cheese – but rather – replacements for them. Are you confused by the phrase “vegan cheese?” Anyway – I am not trying to trick anyone here. Read the ingredients list. See anything not vegan there? It isn’t like I am making this to serve to you. YOU make it – so – I think any non-vegan ingredients would jump right out at you – no? 🙂

      Many vegans LOVED meat but gave it up for ethical reasons. That is why there are so many efforts at vegan bacon etc. Also – many meat eaters would eat LESS meat if there were reasonable replacements for meat. So – I called this dish BBQ pork ribs because they are a REALLY convincing VEGAN copy. Anyone who used to love Chinese ribs but no longer eats pork would love these. And maybe – by presenting recipes like this – I can incrementally change the diets of hundreds & thousands of meat eaters.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I follow a vegan chef who calls his creations “porq”, “beaf”, “cheez” … and I really feel that these analogs cater more to the tastes we associate with the preparation of animal products, rather than the actual taste of beef, chicken, pork, etc. Keep up the good work!

        Like

    • This is the best analogy I can come up with- when you say ‘sausage’, ‘bacon’, ‘ham’, you’re describing tastes, not animal flesh. I’ve never come across a vegan sub for just raw meat! You can take the meat out of bacon and still have bacon taste
      I remember when turkey starting being used as bacon, sausage and ham. People were adamant about turkey not being those things! Now look, it’s totally accepted! Someday vegan things will be just as accepted-we’re getting there -tofu is gaining popularity quickly
      I will say, I can’t go near Beyond Meat chik’n! It really reminds me too much of the nasty rotisserie chickens that keep out of most stores. Your Chinese riblet recipe does sound amazing though! I should try with seitan!

      Like

  2. Joyce, you aren’t eating her food, you’ll be making it YOURSELF…why worry about whether it’s vegan when you will be purchasing the ingredients yourself…no one is trying to trick you into eating meat, if you actually READ the recipe, you will see, there are no animal products in them…a rose by any other name…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s