There are lots of different vegan bacon recipes circulating around, but I wanted to share my version. Mostly, the differences are in the marinade. I never found one that I really loved, so I just kept experimenting. I opt to bake mine for a healthier version, however you can certainly fry them in a pan to get that extra crispiness, although you can certainly achieve a crispy piece of bacon from baking.
Eat it plain. Make a BLT. Crumble it to get bacon bits as a salad topper. This stuff is versatile. I am working on a pasta dish now that can easily be translated into a ‘carbonara’ by adding bacon (recipe forthcoming). There are some vegan bacon bits you can buy at the store, however a few are made from coconut…and taste like coconut…not the desired taste for bacon, or they are made from a long list of chemicals I can’t pronounce. I just prefer to make my own.
- 1 large Eggplant, peeled and quartered longways
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- ⅛ cup brown sugar
- ⅛ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 6 drops liquid smoke
1. Trim the top and bottom of the eggplant and peel it. Divide the eggplant into four quarters cutting longways. With a mandolin slicer, carefully slice a quarter of the eggplant into thin strips. Set aside onto a papertowl and pat dry. Repeat for the remaining three quarters.
2. While the eggplant is setting, prepare the marinade. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well until the sugar has been fully dissolved.
3. Dip each slice of eggplant into the marinade and lie flat in a 9 x 13 pyrex dish. Repeat for all slices, layering on top of each other. Pour the remaining marinade over the top, close the lid and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, occasionally shaking the container to mix up the settled marinade.
4. When you are ready to prepare, preheat the over to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil and lay each slice flat. Do not overlap slices. This may take 2 to 3 separate batches. Bake until slices are crisp, flipping occasionally. Baking times differ with the thickness of the slices and individual ovens. Some take 10 minutes, others 20. Watch carefully to remove at the correct time. Alternative cooking option: fry in a frying pan over medium high heat in oil to desired crispness.
Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista. Can’t wait to hear from you!