Try This: Tofu Bacon

The running cliche is that vegans will make bacon out of anything.  A brief glance at the blogosphere certainly supports the theory, as it is overflowing with ideas on how to make a vegan version of the ubiquitous salty-sweet topper out of coconut, shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, and, of course, tempeh.

But I have a new obsession: tofu bacon.  While it’s probably the most stereotypically vegan-sounding of all, it’s also so super-simple and so super-cheap that I now find myself making it all the time.

TLT 002

All. The. Time.

This is what you do.  Press your tofu (I usually do half a block at a time), then slice it nice and thin.  It probably isn’t strictly necessary to press it, but I think pressing helps the tofu soak up more of the marinade’s flavors.

Get out some sort of container in which you can lay out the tofu strips in no more than two layers.  Dump in enough low-sodium soy sauce to just coat the bottom (the exact amount will depend on the size of your container).  Then add 2-3 dashes of liquid smoke and 1/2-1 tsp. of maple syrup and swirl it all around until combined.

Lay the tofu strips side-by-side in the mixture.  If they all fit in one layer on the bottom of your container, then you’re done!  If you have to go to two layers (I always do), then shake a little more soy sauce, liquid smoke, and maple syrup over the top.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight.  Then you just spray a pan with cooking oil and pan-fry the strips for a couple minutes on each side until browned and a little crispy.

My favorite way to eat this is as a TLT on toasted whole wheat, with a little bit of vegan mayo spread on there.

TLT 007

TLT 004

I’ve also had it with red onion slices and it rocks.  Also, the tomatoes and lettuce are from our farmstand, and their incredible fresh flavor combined with the smoky-sweet tofu bacon makes this my absolute favorite sandwich of the moment.

Don’t forget–Boston Vegetarian Food Festival is coming up this weekend!!!