abillion Test Kitchen: Vegan Bacon

5 May 2021

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vegan bacon alternatives

After going plant-based, many people often mention bacon as the one food they miss the most. After a little research and experimentation, we found that if you are keen to make your own plant-based bacon alternative, carrots, banana peels and rice paper sheets were some of the most affordable and widely-found ingredients people use.

The carrots were a good bacon alternative for dishes that require thin bacon strips. The banana peels were the perfect option for recipes that ask for thick bacon strips, thanks to its chewy texture. And the rice paper sheets were the ideal choice for bacon crumbs as they crisped up immensely when cooked.

Vegan Bacon Marinade

vegan bacon marinade

Not sure how to replicate the same smokey flavor you remember in bacon? We are here to show how with the help of a simple marinade. The best part? Your pantry might already have most of the ingredients needed to make it.

Experimenting with pantry ingredients to create interesting marinades is always a fun and interesting way to switch things up in the kitchen. If you’re feeling inspired, know that the same marinade used to get the “bacon flavor” can be used to make mushrooms, seitan and tofu bacon among many other possibilities.

vegan carrot bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 6 tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke (or 1 tbsp BBQ sauce)
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup

Stir well to combine.

Directions

Carrots

vegan carrot bacon

Using a peeler, peel 1 whole carrot into thin lengthwise strips. If you are using a knife, cut the strips as thinly as possible to minimize cooking time.

Mix with the marinade, making sure that all the strips are coated evenly. Allow carrot strips to sit in the marinade for 5 to 7 minutes.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place carrots strips flat on the pan. Allow the strips to cook for 2 minutes on each side. Flip promptly to avoid charring. When done, the strips should be of a dark orange color with slightly crisp edges.

Suggested serving—use the carrot bacon with some beautiful baby asparagus. Using the pan (we suggest wiping it clean), to pan-fry asparagus. Once the asparagus is fully cooked-through and softened, roll 2-3 carrots strips around the asparagus and serve.

Banana Peels

vegan banana peels bacon

Peel 3 large bananas. Ensure that the peels are of similar width for even cooking.

Mix the banana peels with the marinade, allowing all the peels to be coated evenly. Allow banana peels to sit in the marinade for 20 minutes.

Heat a non-stick pan over high to medium heat. Once hot, lay the peels flat on the pan. Allow the peels to cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Flip occasionally to avoid charring. When done, the edges should have a darker brown color compared to the other parts of the peel.

Suggested serving—Build your favorite BLT sandwich. Use sourdough bread, tomato, lettuce, Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise and the cooked banana peels for a great lunch.

Rice Paper Sheets

vegan rice paper sheets bacon

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius (338 degrees Fahrenheit).

Cut rice paper sheets into long 2-inch thick strips. Coat each strip with the marinade individually to avoid the strips from sticking to one another. Remove strips from marinade immediately once fully coated.

Lay the strips flat on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and leave aside to cool for 1 minute.

Suggested serving—Crumble with fingers and enjoy over your favorite savory dishes, we especially like it over vegan Mac n’ Cheese.

Overall, the vegan bacon test was a success. It was interesting to see how each ingredient turned out differently even though we used the same marinade for all of them. The umami flavor from the carrots, chewiness from the banana peels and crispiness of the rice paper sheets definitely complemented the various dishes we added them to. Be sure to try these for yourselves and tell us how they go.

Keen to see how these turned out in living color? Check out the video episode of the abillion Test Kitchen in which abillion staffer Miao puts carrots, banana peels and rice paper sheets to the ultimate vegan bacon test.

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Responses

Post
@jonedoe007 profile image
jonedoe0071 YEAR AGO
These are amazing ideas! Can't wait to try the banana peels! I've had the carrot bacon, it's delicious!
REPLY
@countrygirl26 profile image
countrygirl261 YEAR AGO
Soy curls bacon is my favorite. Great for sandwiches or added to a salad
REPLY
@karlyqt profile image
karlyqt11 MONTHS AGO
Sounds delicious 😋😋
REPLY
@glutenfreevee profile image
glutenfreevee11 MONTHS AGO
I didn’t realize banana peels were edible. 🤔
REPLY