Vegan bacon has risen in popularity this year.
The old joke “but bacon” from meat-eaters, which is about as original as “where do you get your protein” or “how do you know a vegan? They tell you”, has been answered tenfold.
For years, Cheatin Rashers had been my go-to for a BLT or fried vegan breakfast. But suddenly, with the explosion in veganism over the last couple of years, everyone seems to want a part of the vegan bacon action.
I’m not complaining, they can really add something to a burger and thrown with some tofu scramble, beans and fried mushrooms, it really makes a cooked breakfast sing. But don’t forget the hash browns and dark, dark brown tea!
Of course, these shop-bought vegan bacons are as processed as their dead pig counterparts. The advantage they have for many of us is that they are so quick to cook – typically, you have to fry each side for about thirty seconds. You are more likely to cremate them because the phone rings than you are to under-cook them.
But you can make your own.
Do they taste like bacon? Probably not, but they are better for you and for the pigs and they do taste nice.
I hadn’t realised how easy it is to knock some up until I saw this recipe for banana skin bacon. To see for yourself, go here
Soon after, I was sent almost the same recipe but using slivers of carrot.
For a slight variation on this, go here
It’s all in the marinade you see. And that is what makes these versions so appealing to me – the ingredients in the marinade make so much sense and I thoroughly recommend keeping them in your vegan store cupboard.
Liquid smoke, for example, adds a bite to anything and is great for frying with.
As for soy sauce; well I just love frying broccoli in the stuff as a side dish. You can use Henderson’s Relish instead of soy sauce, I swear by that stuff and always have a bottle around.
But my favourite of all is smoked paprika. I love the stuff. It has a smoky, sweet but not too sweet, taste that is the key to such dishes. Mixed together these ingredients are perfection.
I must say you can never over-marinate, but boy can you under-marinate? In a word: Don’t.
For me, food is always better planned in advance anyway.
I have tried many of the supermarket vegan bacons, and, to be honest, I haven’t found one I didn’t like – but it’s sometimes more fun to make your own, right?
No one is pretending they taste like meat, but it is fun triggering the anti-vegan obsessives with them and they do work so well with breakfast, an addition to roast dinners and my earlier suggestions.