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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Vegan Bacon

vegan bacon

Every year I take a girls trip with my cousins and sister-in-law. We head to a cottage to eat and drink and relax all weekend. I like to try to make something special to bring when I can. We have two vegetarians in the group, so this year it was Vegan Bacon!

vegan bacon

Wait, don't go! This recipe is meant to taste like bacon, but it's just made of roasted mushrooms and it's totally delicious in its own right. Meat-eaters will love it too!  My husband, the opposite of a vegan, loved it and calls it "facon".

I've adapted this recipe from Serious Eats.  The original recipe calls for roasting, then smoking the mushrooms with a chunk of wood on the stovetop. 

smoked salt

I decided that was a little ambitious for me on a weeknight, so I just used smoked salt and smoked paprika instead. The "bacon" probably isn't as smoky as it could be, but it sure is delicious!

king oyster mushrooms

The secret to making the mushrooms look like little strips of bacon is to use king oyster mushrooms.  These are usually available in Asian grocery stores, and some specialty grocery stores.  They have a mild flavour and cook to a chewy, crisp texture in the oven. 

king oyster mushrooms

If you can't find king oyster mushrooms, you can make vegan bacon bits out of smaller mushrooms using the same technique in the recipe below. 

vegan bacon

The vegan bacon will keep about 5 days in an airtight container.  If you're serving it with breakfast, you can crisp it up again in the oven for 5 minutes.  Or just serve it at room temperature on sandwiches, salads or as a snack!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
4 king oyster mushrooms (about 250g)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
smoked salt
cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

vegan bacon

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Use one large or two regular-sized baking sheets and line them with parchment paper or foil.  Spread two tablespoons vegetable oil over the parchment or foil.

Slice the mushrooms lengthwise into planks, about 1/8 inch thick (each mushroom will make about 6 slices with some scraps left over).

Lay the mushrooms on the oiled baking sheet(s) in a single layer. Then flip the mushrooms so the side with oil on it is facing up. 

Sprinkle smoked salt and pepper over the mushroom slices.  Flip again, and sprinkle the other side with smoked salt and pepper. 

Bake for 20 minutes.  Carefully flip the mushrooms and bake for 20 minutes more, watching carefully for the last 5 minutes, until they are crisp but not hard. 

Remove the mushrooms from the oven and drain on paper towels. 

Mix the remaining tablespoon of oil, maple syrup, sugar, paprika and garlic in a medium bowl.  Toss the mushrooms in the mixture and lay them out on the baking sheet again.  Return the sheet to the oven and bake about 5 minutes until the sugars begin to caramelize.  

Serve warm or store for up to 5 days and share with friends!  

vegan bacon recipe



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