So, this one has been coming for quite some time. J has been itching to try his hand at coconut bacon (he’s on a desperate hunt for a flavour that is as close to real bacon as possible), and he finally got the chance last week. Since then we’ve had another batch made as it is just so unbelievably delicious – he even admits to preferring this flavour to the real thing, which is big praise from a bacon fanatic!
There are a lot of recipes that tend to make non-veggies a bit suspicious, and this has to be one of them. Surely, they say, getting some random fruit or vegetable and cooking it in a certain way can’t replicate the taste of actual animal products? Well, just as I can say without a doubt I’ve found vegan cheese that I can’t distinguish from real cheese, so you can say that this really tastes like maple-flavoured bacon. This is, if you will, the Holy Grail for ex-carnivores.
Myself, I’ve never tasted bacon, so I left this one up to J. While I was recovering from watching the Oscars and going to bed past 5am, he whipped up this amazing batch which is perfect for snacking throughout the day or topping all manner of meals. We present to you the astonishing coconut bacon:
Want to make it yourself? Here’s how!
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon BBQ seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 3 1/2 cups large flaked coconut
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Mix soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup, and seasoning in a large bowl.
- Add coconut flakes and gently toss, making sure to coat each flake well.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop seasoned coconut flakes and place onto a baking tray.
- Sprinkle coconut flakes lightly with a bit of salt if desired.
- Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes making sure to rearrange all pieces for even cooking.
- After the first 15 minutes, keep a close watch as the coconut bacon can burn very quickly.
- Remove when coconut has a nice browned and caramelized color.
- Allow to rest and cool - it will crisp up more.
- Experiment with the spices you use - there's no need to stick to traditional flavours. The liquid smoke and maple syrup are key, but you can change the other options around for different taste combinations.