Achin' for Bacon?
A great way to take the sting out of going plant-based is utilizing analogs.
Analogs (essentially fake versions of animal products) are the knock-offs of the culinary world, and thus get a pretty bad reputation.
People also tend to get really confused as to why a vegan or vegetarian would want to eat a meat analog.
Well, I can't answer for everyone, but for me, it's pretty simple.
I didn't stop eating meat because I didn't like the taste.
I stopped for the hundreds of reasons I find it distasteful.
Having said that...I am somewhat obsessed with analogs and go out of my way to give them all a try.
Sometimes it's not a disaster.
I don't know why, but I'm fascinated by decoys and anything jumbo-sized or miniaturized..
Full disclosure, I'm also super into oddly shaped fruits and vegetables.
Are there chat rooms for this sort of fetishism?
(Nevermind, I know the answer to that.)
Nobody hustles these brussels.
Sorry, getting back on track...Let's cook something!!!
I'd like to share my favorite faux meat recipe and the first vegan meat analog my husband got excited about.
It should be noted that, said husband, is only vegan when I'm doing the cooking.
I'm pretty sure that when he is away from home he pounces on every carcass in his path.
Maybe someday that will change, in the meantime I choose compassion.
Even with him 😉
Friends, I present to you...
Rice Paper Bacon in all it's glory.
These smokey, crispy strips of deliciousness are so close to their fatty counterpart, it's almost unnerving!
Sometimes I use the marinade in this recipe for other stuff (like cauliflower steaks or seitan wings) and the Hubs gets all licky lipped because the bacon-y smell overwhelms him.
It's just precious.
Look at us, all full of love and adult beverages....just precious.
So yeah, first you're gonna make the marinade.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together:
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons nooch (nutritional yeast flakes, major pantry staple item!!)
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (another M.P.S.I.)
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
optional additions include, but are not limited to:
a good splash of your favorite hot sauce or hot vinegar
fresh grated ginger
Once you have mixed your marinade, keep it close by while you preheat the oven, or toaster oven to 350 degrees.
Get a parchment lined, or silicone mat (even better) lined sheet pan ready.
Keep everything close (set your mise en place) as the next few steps will go pretty fast.
Grab some rice paper (8 sheets) and cut it into even-ish strips, the width of bacon slices.
Fill a shallow bowl, with warm water & grab your marinade and basting brush.
Now you should have your "station" set up.
Glass of wine, strictly optional.
Once strips are cut, work with 2 strips at a time.
Dip each strip into warm water and line it with a partner.
Lay them in stacks of two deep onto the lined sheet pan.
Once last stack is laid, the first stack is ready to be brushed with the marinade.
Brush the marinade onto each double strip, and as you do, flip them over.
Still with me?
Now that everybody's all lined up, slather more marinade on top.
Pop those bad boys into the oven until fragrant (aprox 8 minutes, depending on your oven), then give them a little flip and another basting of marinade.
These will cook very similar to bacon, in that they will be chewy when underdone and crunchy when well done.
And, don't ask me how I know this, but, still almost edible when burnt to a crisp.
Once you have cooked your fakin bakin to your desired crispness, eat it as you would any other bacon...on sandwiches, as a pizza topping, as a soup topping, stuff it into a breakfast burrito...
That is of course if you have any left 5 seconds after you pull it out of the oven.
If you are so lucky, store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Also, feel free to reach out with any questions and let me know if my explanations are lacking!
Happy munching y'all!