Bacon, without the cruelty, cholesterol or fat. It’s all possible with the help of rice paper, that wonderful wrapper used to make fresh spring rolls. In the past I’ve shared a coconut bacon recipe that’s truly phenomenal on baked potatoes and salads. This time I’m sharing a smokier version that’s more “realistic” in regards to the traditional texture and appearance of bacon. The one meat every person I encounter tells me they could never give up to go vegan. Maybe this will make transitioning easier for you, at the very least it’s delicious on veggie burgers or crumbled on twice baked potatoes.
The technique used for this is actually quite easy. You’ll need a cutting board or flat surface that you can cut on and it should also be non-stick. In the photos you can see I’m using a silicone cutting mat. If you do not have one, you can also use your counter top and a sheet of parchment paper. Anything you don’t mind cutting on and nothing wooden, or your rice paper will stick (you can absolutely use a cooking spray to combat this though).
You start by mixing everything to make the marinade. Wet a piece of rice paper and lay it flat onto your work surface. Add a spoonful of marinade and spread it evenly. Top with a second piece of rice paper that’s been soaked in water. You really don’t need to soak until the paper is soft, once you press the two together they will soften completely in a matter of minutes. You can start cutting your slices as soon as the top layer feels soft and slightly sticky. I like to start at the top, press down and slowly move the knife downwards in short bursts. To make sure I’m getting a clean cut through both layers. I’ve also heard that you can use a pizza cutter, but you don’t have as much control that way. I also slightly trim the sides down so the end pieces aren’t rounded, but that’s a totally optional step.
I think this is a great recipe to make in bulk and store in an air-tight container for the week. I’ve read others say that 3-4 days is about all you can keep them for. But I snap them in half and transfer to a sealed mason jar, stored in the freezer. From there I’ll just place a few strips onto my baking sheet and reheat at 350 F for a couple of minutes to bring them back to normal. This way you can eat vegan BLTs any day of the week! If you’re interested in checking out other rice paper bacon recipes, I highly recommend the shiitake version by Mississippi Vegan or the crazy realistic version from Yup It’s Vegan!
- Double layer rice paper wet, place on nonstick surface.
- Coat with marinade in between sheets.
- Once softened, use a sharp knife and cut into strips. Pressing down and then dragging the knife for a clean cut.
- Holding each end of the strip, dunk it into the marinade and use your thumb and pointer finger to remove the excess. Dunk and repeat. When wiping off the excess, stay to one side to replicate a line of "fat". Keeping one side of the strip more saturated gives it a chewier texture and the other side stays crispy. If you want an even chewier texture, flip over one side of the rice paper so it's overlapping by ¼ inch.
- Bake at 375 F for 12-14 minutes on the center rack. Watch carefully, they burn easily. Feel free to sprinkle with salt or nutritional yeast for even more flavor and texture.
- Remove from oven and cool for 1-2 minutes before serving.
The ones I slightly pulled on curled on the sides and yielded a chewy texture.