Sunday, 1 December 2013

Smoky, salty, crispy…yum!

Who here doesn’t like bacon? Well pigs, for a start. But we all crave that smoky, salty, crispy  taste. I admit that bacon was the hardest animal product to give up, for precisely those reasons. But I also know that compassion taste better than anything so I am always looking for ways to include that smoky, salty umami flavour in my food. Because Spiderman and I realised pretty early on, it’s not the meat we were craving, but the sauce or the way of cooking it that we loved the taste of. You could cook anything that way, with that sauce and it would be a satisfying meal.

 Cue coconut bacon. This is all the rage in vegan land. As Isa Chandra Moskowitz once said, “Given the chance, vegans will make bacon out of anything.” It ticks all the boxes of smoky, salty, (with a hint of sweet) and crispy and is made from the whole food of coconut chips. Sure, you can buy Bacos which are accidentally vegan or make your own using TVP (which is little dry soya nuggets that need to be re-hydrated) but both of those are highly processed and we prefer to eat more natural, plant based food.

But as coconut bacon proves--you can still have delicious kick ass food that is healthy.  

An internet search revealed dozens of recipes. I ended up adapting several to match what ingredients I had. The one thing you will need for sure is those wide slices of unsweetened coconut meat not the shreds. I found mine in a bag at our local health food shop.


Coconut Bacon

Preheat the oven to 300F/150C

125g bag coconut chips (a little more than 2.5 cups)

1 TB liquid smoke

2 TB tamari or soy sauce

1 TB maple syrup

1 TB toasted sesame oil

1 tsp smoked paprika.


1. Mix all ingredients in a little bowl and then pour over the coconut in a bigger bowl and really mix it in with your hands to get all the pieces coated.


 2. Line a large roasting tin with parchment paper and lay the coconut as flat as you can, trying not to have too much overlapped.

3. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. The bacon will get darker and dryer as it goes on.


4. Take it out of the oven  Remove the parchment from the hot pan and set on the counter to cool and crisp up. When the coconut is cool, it is very crispy…and salty…and smoky…and sweet…and yum.

Super yum. It reminds me of that crispy bacon you used to get at IHOP with your pancakes.

Several recipes called for  1TB water instead of toasted sesame oil, but I like the smoky quality the oil adds. I might even cut back the maple syrup a wee bit (by ¼ a teaspoon) next time and add ¼ tsp extra liquid smoky.

Because there will definitely be a next time. It will store on the counter in an airtight container for a week, but I doubt it will last that long.

We’re having it on pizza tonight and colcannon jacket potatoes on Wednesday (twice baked potatoes filled with tangy cashew cheese and kale) and I’ve been sprinkling it on everything.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recipe--the Elvis Sandwich.

1 comment:

  1. definitely will try this............I can easily find those things, and I do miss bacon. SweetJames used to cook the best thick sliced bacon to the perfect state of crispness for my breakfast.