I can’t say that I ever really understood the big bacon obsession, I ate it growing up but it’s just not one of those things I missed when I went veg’n. I do love smoky, salty flavors though and I’ve found plenty of ways to curb that craving. I’ve had my fair share of tempeh bacon, which tastes great but I still have issues with the soft texture and although I love coconut bacon, putting it a sandwich usually leaves me with two pieces of bread in my hand and a pile of coconut bacon scattered across my plate. I was looking for something different, something crispy, something that could hold up in any sandwich and of course, something easy.
It’s not like tofu bacon is a new concept, I’ve just never really had the desire to try it before, but thanks to mofo I’ve been seeing pictures of vegan BLT’s floating around the webs and started getting a hankering. I’ve really been wanting to try out a bunch of the recipes from the Veganize It column in VegNews, and whatdaya know, smack dab in the May+June 2011 edition is a recipe for what else? Tofu bacon, well hot damn!
After I got home and inhaled the last of the Roasted Cauliflower Soup, I mixed up the marinade (which takes no time), sliced up my tofu (which I always freeze beforehand) and left it in the fridge overnight to marinate. The next day, when I got home from work, I fried those suckers up in some coconut oil and after “test tasting” a few pieces made one of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve had in a while. Now, similar to bacon, this ain’t no low fat recipe. The coconut oil is a must in this recipe as it gives the tofu a crispy, greasy texture, which some of you might scrunch up your noses at, but seriously it’s good. The flavour was delicious, smoky, salty and just what I was looking for. I made a couple minor changes to the recipe, like using powdered garlic and onion instead of raw (yeah, I was too lazy to chop) and I decreased the amount of salt. I love salt but this recipe had me chugging back gallons of water afterwards.
Makes 4 to 6 Servings
Barely adapted from VegNews (May+June Issue)
- 1 pkg (350g) extra firm tofu, drained, frozen and then partially thawed
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons unflavoured coconut oil
Slice the partially thawed tofu in half lengthwise and then cut each half widthwise into paper-thin strips. In a shallow dish (I used a 9×9 pyrex dish), mix together nutritional yeast, oil, water, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, tamari, salt, liquid smoke, onion and garlic powder. Carefully lay tofu slices in marinade, coating both sides. Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour, or place in fridge overnight. Be careful not to move the tofu around too much as it tears easily.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the coconut oil. Gently add marinated tofu slices and pan fry 3 minutes per side, or until each side starts to turn brown and crispy. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Spray with 2 to 3 squirts of smoke flavour and serve.
Feel free to eat it as is, OR you can be like me and make a super yummy sandwich. Toast two pieces of bread, any kind of bread, there’s no need to be picky. Take some Veganaise and slap some on those two pieces of bread. Mash up half an avocado and plop it on one piece of bread, then top with tofu bacon, tomato and lettuce. Slap those two pieces of bread together and you’ve got yourself one mighty fine sandwich.
Recipe created by Allison Rivers Samson from Allison’s Gourmet