The Herbivorous Butcher's Five-Spice Rib Tips


Five-Spice Rib Tips

  • 6 Tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Red Onion Finely chopped
  • 8 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Chinese Five-Spice Powder
  • Salt
  • Chopped Fresh Cilantro For garnish

  • Rice For serving

The Rib

  • 13 Oz Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 2 Tbsp Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika

Wet Mixture

  • 1 3/4 Cups Apple Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil For searing

Braising Broth

  • 1/2 Cup Beef Broth Concentrate
  • 5 Cups Water



Prepare the ribs and cut them into bite-size pieces (or whatever size you'd like to eat) and set aside.

To make the rib tips: In a medium saucepan over medium-high, add 2 Tbsp of the oil. Once heated, add the onion and garlic; cook for a few minutes, until translucent. Add the maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, Chinese five-spice, and another 2 Tbsp of oil; whisk well. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

In a wok over medium-high, add the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil. Once heated, add the chopped ribs and stir-fry until the pieces begin to brown. Slowly add the sauce to the wok and stir-fry for a few more minutes,

until the sauce has thickened and is coating the ribs. Season with salt.

Serve with rice and garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired. Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2 days.


Preheat the oven to 325°F [165°C]. Grease a 9 by 13 in [23 by 33 cm] baking dish.

To make the dry mixture: In a large bowl, add the gluten, nutritional yeast, garbanzo bean flour, all-purpose flour, granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika, and salt. Stir well to combine.

To make the wet mixture: In a separate large bowl, add the apple juice, water, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and brown sugar. Whisk well to combine.

Slowly stir the wet mixture into the dry mix-ture. As the dough thickens, knead it by hand by placing it on a lightly floured surface and pressing it with the heel of the hand in a forward rolling motion. Rotate the dough and repeat for 1 to 2 minutes until no dry spots remain.

Transfer the dough to a large cutting board or clean surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a flat rectangle, about 1½/ in [4 cm] thick. With a pizza cutter, cut out 4 to 5 in [10 to 12.5 cm] long rib-shaped pieces and set aside. In a skillet or small sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once heated, add the ribs and sear until they're golden brown, but not burnt, on both sides. 

To make the broth: In a small bowl, whisk together the beef broth concentrate and water. (Try out the recipe as written first, but feel free to be creative here. Any barbecue sauce or marinade will work great; the ribs take on the flavor of whatever they're cooked in.)

Arrange your ribs in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, then pour on the braising broth (or chosen sauce), ensuring each one is almost completely covered. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 1 hour. Check to see if each piece is firm; add another 10 minutes if needed. Remove from the pan, store in an airtight container, and enjoy within a week.