Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Home Grown Tomatoes presents: Tempeh Bacon

Bacon...mmmm...is there really a substitute for that greasy, salty wonder that you can practically put on ANYTHING? I can hear your doubts...I completely understand. I have to say, bacon is the one meaty food that I attempt to "recreate" at home. The process of making tempeh bacon involves three simple ingredients, and it can be used for sandwiches, on salads, or crumbled atop sour cream melting over the sides of a twice baked potato...(the idea there was to make you salivate a bit, unfortunately I've gone and made myself hungry!) Even my dad, the mighty Italian, LOVES this stuff.

Tempeh (fermented soy) can be found in just about any grocery store, it's usually in the cold/organic section, often right next to the tofu. There are about five varieties that you can play around with to find the flavor you prefer. I tend to favor the three grain, and I am not a huge fan of the garden vegetable, at least not for the purposes of making bacon out of it.

Serving: 20-25 slices of tempeh bacon

Slice your tempeh (as thick or as thin as you would like it), I tend to get about 24 (2" in length) slices out of one package of tempeh.

Using a 1/2 c. of extra virgin olive oil (more or less) and 2 Tbs of Bragg's Liquid Aminos, coat both sides of the tempeh right in the pan and then cook each side on med/high heat.

With the oil, my main objective is to have an even coat on the bottom of the pan in order to avoid the tempeh from sticking. The idea with the Bragg's is to give it a bit of flavor without having it taste overly salty. Check the tempeh after 10 minutes to see if the edges have begun to turn a golden brown. Once the bottom of the tempeh has cooked thoroughly, go ahead and flip it over - it won't take nearly as much time to cook the second half. If some of your pieces haven't cooked thoroughly, go ahead and keep on frying and flipping!

The tempeh should be a rich, dark brown color (on both sides) by the end so the tempeh retains a crunchy texture. I use this to make TLT's - just had one this morning as a matter of fact! I often crumble it up and add it to dips, fillings, soups, salads... basically any dish whereby I think a 'baconesque' crunch would do some good! And of course, I serve it in its simplicity as bacon when it comes to a big Sunday morning breakfast. Give it a whirl - you'll more than likely have tempeh bacon down to a fine science after a couple tries.

Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column by Giovanina Bucci

1 comment:

die Frau said...

What does B think of tempeh? I think T would flip out. But then, I lost on the paper towel debate with him, too.

Are you going vegetarian?

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