Friday, April 11, 2008

Vegan Bacon (and Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich)

Tonight's self-imposed mission was to make vegan bacon (for a BLT) that tasted good but also had the chewy texture of "real" bacon. I have made tempeh bacon before from Vegan With a Vengeance, which was quite good, but I had no tempeh. Plus, while tempeh has a firm texture, it does not have a chewy texture. I thought seitan would fit the bill. I am not sure what I thought of the end result, but the kids loved it. As you can see, the colour is all wrong--these look more like chicken strips. The taste, however, was quite good. The jury is still out on the texture--it was chewy and crisp, but maybe a bit too chewy. I am going to post the recipe for those who want to play around with it, as I will be doing.

- 1/2 cup of chickpeas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp Bragg's soy seasoning
- 1 tbsp HP Sauce (or BBQ sauce)
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp sage
- few drops of browning sauce
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten

1. Finely mash chickpeas with a fork in a bowl. Add everything else in but the wheat gluten and mix well. Add in wheat gluten and mix with a fork, then knead by hand for a few mins.
2. Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan over med-lo heat. While pan is heating, flatten dough out with the heel of your hand on a cutting board. Get as flat as possible.
3. Cut dough into thin strips resembling bacon (only thinner). Flatten each strip even more before placing in the pan. The thinner the better. Place in pan and cook for about 4-5 mins per side, until crispy and no longer "squishy." Add a little more oil to the pan, if necessary, when flipping bacon strips.


VeggieGirl said...

ahh, a veganized classic :0)

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Every time I read one of your recipes I think "well, I'm going to have to buy that gluten..."

John Plummer said...

I like this idea, and have all the ingredients, so I may have to give it a try. I've recently had some success making faux-bacon from Butler's Soy Curls.

Carrie said...

I agree with you with the tempeh's delicious, but not really bacon-esque. I may have to give this a try.

keeta said...

Oooh, what an awesome idea! I love me some faux bacon, and this seems like a recipe to play around with!

J. Maass said...

What the hell is in liquid smoke anyway?

Vegan Dad said...

Liquid smoke is basically water and hickory smoke. It is created by burning wood chips and putting the smoke into a water condensation chamber--or something like that. For example, see here.

jumbleberryjam said...

Brilliant! Just fried up a batch...used 3/4c. VWG plus 2 T more. Not chewy at all. There were even crispy edges! Well done!!

Anonymous said...

Obviously this works for some. I've successfully made many gluten-based meat substitutes. My "dough" for this was so springy that I could not -- really could not -- flatten it sufficiently. I tried the heel of my hand as the recipe stated, tried a French rolling pen, tried letting it rest for a half hour -- it still was like trying to roll out a rubber band. Fried it up anyhow and the result, though tasty, was not bacon-y. Reminded me for all the world of pan-fried, skin-on, chicken wings (the sage?). Suggestions on making it rollable?

Vegan Dad said...

I have given up on this recipe, to be honest. Too chewy and rubbery, and I could never get the texture right. Now I go with a tofu version: