Here’s a good little party piece to have in your culinary locker. Crispy, sticky, sweet, smoky vegan bacon 🤘. Perfect for adding to burgers or with a vegan cooked breakfast. These are so good trust me you need to try them.
The vegan ‘bacon’ is simply thinly sliced aubergine coated in a bacon-esque marinade before being roasted in the oven. The original recipe and real brains behind these comes from Gaz at Avant Garde Vegan. In my opinion these vegan bacon slices taste much better than processed pig meat and are a lot healthier too.
I grew up in a household that didn’t eat pork so bacon was never really my thing. Regardless of that it’s common knowledge that bacon isn’t the healthiest food we could be putting in our bodies. Bacon contains lots of saturated fats and salt, not to mention that being a processed meat means it’s a group 1 carcinogen according to the World Health Organisation. If you didn’t know, a group 1 carcinogen is a substance that has been confirmed to cause cancer in humans. Not nice.
Aubergine on the other hand is full of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and is known to reduce cholesterol and manage weight. The main vitamins in aubergine are B1, B6 and potassium, while its primary minerals are copper, magnesium and manganese. Like all colourful fruits and vegetables, aubergines also contain lots of antioxidants. The purple colour from aubergines comes from an antioxidant called nasunin. This potent antioxidant protects the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes, enabling these cells to function properly.
Big up the aubergine ✊
The first trick with these vegan bacon slices is to get them evenly sliced about 1-2mm thick so that they have a chance to crispen up in the oven. I’d recommend using a decent quality mandoline slicer like this one to get them perfect. The second trick is to get the oven temperature just right and to take them out just after they have turned crispy but before they burn. This is a very small window of time so pay attention while they are cooking!
When you get them right these vegan bacon slices are amazing. Sweet, smokey, crispy, a bit chewey and full of flavour. I’d recommend pairing them with my Ultimate Scrambled Ackee Breakfast for a proper show-off vegan breakfast.
Let me know what you think in the comments and once again thanks to Gaz at Avant Garde Vegan for the original recipe.
Smoky Vegan Bacon
Delicious crispy vegan bacon slices made from aubergine and coated in a smoky, sweet and flavoursome marinade.
- 1 aubergine
For the marinade
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 drops liquid smoke
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Add all the marinade ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir until combined.
Cut the ends off the aubergine and then cut it in half or quarter it lengthways depending on what size you want your bacon slices. Then slice the aubergine about 1-2mm thick with a mandoline of very sharp knife.
Let the aubergine slices marinate in the sauce while the oven heats to 170C (fan oven).
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Take each aubergine slice out of the marinade and brush off the excess liquid with your finger before placing on the baking paper.
Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes. Brush some of the marinade over each slice a couple of times before they are finished cooking. Keep a close eye on them and take them out once they have gone a dark red colour and are crisp, but just before they start burning.