Having never eaten bacon, I don’t have to worry about this recipe living up to any preconceived notions. The recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance.
- 3 Tbs. Bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 1 tsp. tomato paste
- 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 8-ounce package tempeh
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbs. peanut oil or vegetable oil
- To make the marinade combine the soy sauce, cider, tomato paste and liquid smoke in a wide, shallow bowl or pan and mix with a fork until the tomato paste is fully dissolved.
- Cut the tempeh into thin strips (less than 1/4 inch thick) lengthwise. You should be able to get about 12 strips. Rub the strips with the crushed garlic, then toss the garlic cloves into the marinade. Submerge the tempeh strips in the marinade and let sit, for at least an hour and up to overnight. After marinating, discard the garlic.
- Heat the oil in an 11 or 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh strips and cook for 4 minutes on one side; the bottom should be nicely browned. Flip the strips over and pour the remainder of the marinade over them. If there isn’t much marinade left add a splash of water. Cover and let cook for 3 more minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Uncover and check for doneness; if necessary keep cooking uncovered until all sides are nicely browned. Remove from heat and serve.
In writing this up I just realized I misread the cider as cider vinegar. No wonder it seemed like it needed some sweetener. I only used 2 Tbs. of full sodium soy sauce, and 1 Tbs. of olive oil. I cooked the tempeh in my 9-inch cast iron skillet, which was a bit crowded. The final tempeh had a very delicate yet toothsome texture which I enjoyed, and almost no “tempeh” flavor that I don’t care for so much. I can’t imagine this is what bacon tastes like however. On a pita bread with sliced tomato and lettuce I found the tempeh too bland. Maybe with the cider and the extra soy sauce and oil it would have been better? I’ll have to try it again, but I think I’ll wait til Derek comes in case I don’t like it that much. Tempeh here in Montreal is $4 for 8 ounces! That’s alot to waste on a dish you don’t care for all that much. (Anyone know where to get tempeh for less in Montreal?)
A day later the tempeh had more “tempeh flavor.”
Update January 5, 2008: I made this recipe again, properly this time, for Derek. The only issue was that I had white wave tempeh which comes in very square blocks so you can’t really cut it into long strips, and I had trouble even getting 8 slices, nevermind 12. I fried it in the full amount of oil and it came out extremely greasy. I took one bite and that was enough: the flavor was too in-your-face, and the amount of oil was overpowering. I served it to Derek anyway, and he liked it quite a bit, eating it plain for breakfast with a half a grapefruit and some leftover celery root salad.