How to Make Smokey Maple Seitan Bacon (Vegan)
Warning: This vegan bacon is addictive.
I have tested this smoky maple seitan bacon on omnivores and it rated two thumbs up.
Here is how it goes down when you serve this to self professed “real” bacon lover. They will discreetly wrinkle their nose and insist on taking half a strip instead of a whole. Then they’ll place a tiny corner in their mouths and nibble just the teensiest bit in case it is not maple but hemlock infused.
“Not bad” they’ll announce with surprise. They’ll throw a couple of strips on their sandwich along with juicy tomato slices and crisp green lettuce leaves. By the end of the meal they will have finished every crumb of their 1st vegan BLT.
“Hey, do you have anymore bacon?” they will ask plaintively pointing to the empty platter with their left hand while clutching two strips of bacon in their right.
Crispy, chewy, salty, smokey, spicy, sweet. From sandwiches to salads to tofu scrambles this bacon will make your dishes sing! Not just sing. Sing opera!
Oh gosh now my mind is wondering what aria this bacon is singing.
The sweet, smokey amber marinade is sexy like Musetta all tarted up for a stroll down the boulevard in La bohème. I see a strip of bacon swaying down the street, head tilted singing unselfconsciously :
When walking alone on the streets,
People stop and stare
And examine my beauty
From head to toe
And then I savor the cravings
which from their eyes transpires
Or perhaps this bacon is a hunky “savory” baritone like Escamillo in Carmen.
Your toast, I can give it to you
Sirs, sirs, for along with the soldiers
Yes, the Toreros, can understand;
For pleasures, for pleasures
They have combats!
The arena is full,
it is the feast day!
Seitan is unbelievably versatile, I use it in my Seitan Satay with Spicy peanut sauce,
Bbq Vegan Ribs with sticky Tamarind bbq sauce
and even my Korean Tacos.
Onward to the recipe.
A make ahead vegan bacon that can be pulled out of the fridge and fried up in 4 minutes flat. Don't be alarmed when you see the long list of ingredients. Note that most of them repeat themselves in both the dough and the marinade there fore the list is much smaller.
The dough will take you 10 minutes to make and then just pop it in the oven for 1/2 hour while you nap. After that all you need to do is make the marinade (3 minutes) and slice up the bacon. Now you are good to go and have a week's supply of "bacon".
- 2 tbsp tahini or smooth peanut butter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 4 drops liquid smoke
- 1 cup vegetable broth, warm or hot not cold
Heat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients until combined.
In another bowl stir together all the the wet ingredients until smooth.
Pour the wet into the dry and stir until a dough forms. I like to do my kneading in the stand mixer with a dough hook but you can knead it by hand as well. If you re using the stand mixer the place the dough in the stand mixer and allow it to knead with the dough hook for 6 minutes on medium speed. I think the texture is much better when I use the stand mixer. It makes for a denser loaf.
If you are kneading by hand then you will need to knead for 10 minutes until the dough is super dense and rubbery.
Lightly oil a metal loaf pan and press the seitan dough into the pan pressing hard into the corners until the dough lies flat in the pan.
Spoon 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of water over the top and enclose the top of the pan with aluminum foil so steam doesn’t escape.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Remove from oven.
Mix up your smoky maple marinade.
Mix up all the ingredients and taste. A small taste though because it will be strong. Play with the balance of flavors to your own taste.
Now slice up your cooled seitan into long strips. I like it thick cut! Place the marinade in a pan that can hold all the sliced bacon. Slather the marinade onto the bacon strips on both sides and allow to sit 20 minutes. Fry up the bacon in a skillet about 2 minutes on each side.
Make ahead tip. This marinated bacon will keep in the fridge tightly covered at least a week. This way you can fry it up as needed. How cool I that?