Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Let’s make tempeh bacon! My guess is that if you aren’t a full-on vegetarian or plant-based eater, then the idea of making bacon out of tempeh might seem a little foreign.
I get that. Sometimes I forget that while I live in this alternative mosty-vegan universe where it’s totally acceptable to make tuna salad out of chickpeas, whipped cream out of coconut milk, and meatballs out of eggplant.
Though, it’s 2020 and I feel like eating this way has not only become more acceptable, but also a little more mainstream depending on what kind of circles you run in. Like, I can order a tempeh bacon TLT at every Whole Foods and it’s not weird? I can ask where pre-marinated tempeh bacon is at my local grocery store and the clerk doesn’t even bat an eye?
We’re a long way from where I first started in the mid 2000’s, ya know?
While I love that you can buy tempeh bacon, you can also make it! Making your own tempeh bacon saves money and is pretty easy to do. I can find tempeh at most grocery stores in my area (Trader Joe’s has the best prices on it). But you can also order online if it’s tough to find where you are.
While there are so many different variations of vegan bacon out there, I’m partial to this vegan version. It’s not as crispy as regular bacon, but it’s got a very similar flavor and pairs perfectly in this stacked sandwich or on the side to your favorite tofu scramble.
Once you open tempeh from the package, you will marinate it in ‘bacon spices’ along with a little soy sauce and liquid smoke if you want it. The liquid smoke provides a nice hit of meatiness, but you can skip it. A word of warning that a little bit goes a very long way, so start small and then increase if ya’ want.
After your bacon has marinated for at least 20-30 minutes, you’ll want to pan fry it! Some recipes call for baking the tempeh, but I personally find that pan frying it creates the best chewy, slightly crispy texture.
The trick is slicing your tempeh in strips that are slightly thicker than bacon, but not too thick that they can’t soak up the marinade and become crispy when fried. You also don’t want them too thin that they fall apart when flipped.
Once your bacon is made, you can enjoy it so many different ways. I’m sharing the official recipe to this TLT later this week. Though to be fair, I’m confident that you don’t really need a recipe. It’s mayo, lettuce, tomato and tempeh bacon.
Even if you’re on the fence about meat-substitutes, I’m fairly confident that you will like this one. It’s definitely not regular pork bacon but that’s what makes it so good. It’s got all the yummy smoky maple flavor of bacon without trying to be bacon.
If you like this, then you’re going to want to make my tempeh bacon bits which are perfect on everything from pasta to soups!Print
The best Tempeh Bacon Recipe! Smoky, slightly sweet, crispy bacon made from tempeh.