I've never been a bacon lover myself, so I haven't missed it since I went vegan, only a few times when I tried to make some recipes that requires this ingredient and for those times, I had our tempeh bacon recipe, which is great.
Unfortunately, tempeh it's not easy to find in Spain and is pretty expensive, so when I saw eggplant bacon for the first time, I knew I needed to experiment with our bacon recipe and make an alternative using eggplant instead of tempeh.
This is not real bacon, so it hasn't the same consistency and flavor, but it's so good and a healthier alternative. Besides, it's much more affordable than tempeh bacon and store-bought vegan bacon.
This eggplant bacon can be used as regular bacon, as a snack, for breakfast, to make salads, pasta, or vegan pizza.
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- ½ medium eggplant
- 2 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon tahini, or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
- 2 teaspoon smoke paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF or 120ºC and line one (or two) large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If you use oil, just mix all the ingredients (except the eggplant) in a large mixing bowl. If you use tahini, blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and then pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Slice an eggplant in half lengthwise, we're going to use only one half. Then use a mandolin to slice the eggplant into thin strips (⅛ inch or 3 mm). If you don't have a mandolin, use a sharp knife, but the mandolin works much better.
- Some people brush the eggplant slices with the sauce, but I prefer to dip them in the sauce, it's simpler and works great. Then wipe it off a little bit the excess.
- Place the eggplant slices onto the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes for one side and another 45 minutes for the other side. The eggplant slices are crispier when they're cool. If you prefer a simpler alternative, just sauté the bacon slices for both sides in a frying pan with some oil until they're golden brown and crispy.
- Store the eggplant bacon in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Baking time may vary depending on the oven.
- If you can't eat soy, use coconut aminos or add sea salt and some liquid instead, like water, more vinegar or even lemon juice.
- Feel free to use lemon juice instead of the vinegar.
- Add your favorite spices.