But vegan bacon though…

Vegan bacon frying

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.

Banana skin bacon
Banana skin bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich

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.