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A vegetarian bacon presentation in conception


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I'm working on creating a vegetarian bacon for a rather elaborate plate. This is my idea for the process (try and follow):

Using a long, rectangular terrine bold, I'll fill it with store-bought egg whites and steam it.

I'll then thinly slice the big regtangular bar with a sandwich slicer so that I'm left with paper-thin, long, rectangular slices of cooked egg white that very closely resemble the fatty part of a bacon strip.

I'll lay that on the plate.

I'll then create a spice mixture that I feel closely resembles the flavour of bacon (smoked paprika, brown sugar, a bit of cayenne, a bit of hawaiian salt, ground sezchuan pepper, all spice, etc. [lots of 'red' spices]).

I'll sprinkle the spice mixture in 'lines' of varying width along the egg white 'fat'.

Voila, fake bacon! Should work pretty well, shouldn't it?

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With absolutely no intent to offend, that doesn't really sound like something that would say bacon to me. It sounds like something similar in appearance to bacon but I don't see the flavor saying bacon. I'd ease up on the spicy elements and work in some smokey. Maybe even a touch of maple (some of that smoked maple syrup might be awesome if you could get it). It will also be difficult to mask the egg-y taste, egg manages to jump through almost anything, but I don't know what to suggest as an alternative off the top of my head. Of course, in all fairness, you didn't actually say you were going for a traditional bacon flavor. I just assumed that.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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You could possibly soak TVP until it has reached softness, pureé in a food processor with the added spices, roll flat and thin and then bake it until it's reached its desired thinness/crispiness.

I've never done this because bacon isn't something I'm too keen on simulating, but from a veg perspective, it sounds like it could work. I've worked with TVP before and I think you could get, at the very least, a very interesting looking result ;)

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Can you tell us in what context this will be served? Does it need to taste something like bacon (however distantly) or just look like it? Is it primarily for a visual joke, or are there serious vegetarians to be catered for (do serious vegetarians want something that even looks like bacon? or is that a question for another thread?)

There is a medieval recipe for mock bacon made with marzipan ......

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instead of egg-whites...why not take "vegetarian" to the next level? VEGAN!!!

an egg-white still comes from a creature, right? and you've got your mind set on a white canvas, right?

why not start with thinly-sliced parsnips?

blanch 'em/boil 'em. shock 'em. dry 'em. dip 'em in a liquid smoke/molasses syrup, season 'em, and dry 'em in the oven for a night or two.

just a thought.

cheers.

trev

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I made some fake bacon for my vegan friends, long ago. I found a recipe on the internet and tweaked it. Basically, I took some firm tofu, cut into very thin slices (strips), fried the slices in oil to get rid of as much of the oil as possible. I soaked the fried tofu slices in a mixture of soy-sauce, liquid smoke, a bit of sugar, and some spices for a long time. Then I drained the slices very well and broiled or baked them briefly to cook the marinade into the tofu.

I was pretty dubious, but I have to say that the results were not bad at all; definitely bacon-y. My friends swore it tasted like real bacon, but since they had not had real bacon in such a long time, I cannot accord their judgment much authority.

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You could possibly soak TVP until it has reached softness, pureé in a food processor with the added spices, roll flat and thin and then bake it until it's reached its desired thinness/crispiness.

Or when pureeing you could add in some crumbled bacon.

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I like the creative design of your original idea, and I agree that egg whites could mimic the bacon fat--however, I think that a bacon-substitute made of pure egg whites misses out on the crispy, denser elements of actual bacon that make it so tasty.

Like Khadija, I was going to suggest a form of tofu bacon. I make this recipe quite often.

While it doesn't taste exactly like bacon, it is close enough to be an excellent substitute for meat-missing vegetarians.

Perhaps a combination of the two could work? Tofu bacon layered between cooked egg whites?

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  • 2 weeks later...

if you can find yuba sticks (the skin of soy milk dried I have seen it in SE Asian markets a lot) it makes decent even crispy fake bacon and I agree on marinating or using more smokey and mapley tastes instead of spicey marinate these yuba sticks in what ever flavors you liek then roast in the oven until crispy they are good actually!

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
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Isa Chandra Moskowitz has a great (and convincing, and totally simple) tempeh bacon recipe in her recent Vegan With A Vengeance cookbook. I'm pretty sure she has a web presence as well, though I'm not sure where. If you're interested, I'll look up the recipe at home and post it tomorrow.

"What was good enough yesterday may not be good enough today." - Thomas Keller

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