I am participating in Vegan Mofo 2014! I have a whole month’s worth of amazing recipes and other food related blog topics almost all set to go! I plan to also post a blog tomorrow, in which I will explain my theme and some deeper things I am hoping to address by participating in this, as well as a personal update on how my Summer went and what I’m looking forward to for the future.
But for now? I just found out today is International Bacon day, which isn’t very vegan, but I’m all about bacon type flavor without the cruelty! I am always in search for the best smokey savory flavor of it, as well as trying to replicate the texture. For a recipe that will be coming up in the days of September and Vegan Mofo 2014, I felt the need to create a new type of vegan bacon.
This idea initially came to me in July when I was talking to a group of volunteers at Girls Rock! RI after a long day at the girls’ camp, and while we were discussing the days events, there happened to be some seaweed snacks around (I was responsible for making sure snacks were always out and available). Some of us were encouraging the organization’s intern to try it, and she was a bit hesitant. I was trying to describe the flavor to her, and all of a sudden, I said to another person next to me, “I’m surprised vegans haven’t found a way to make bacon out of it, they’ll make bacon out of anything!” Thus, I was now on a quest to create vegan bacon out of Nori seaweed.
So, here it is!
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or gluten free alternative
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- pinch of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or better yet a silicon/silpat sheet.
- With clean scissors, cut the nori into long strips, about an inch wide. The nori I used had perforated guidelines (I’m guessing for if you make sushi) so I cut along those. It made it super easy…you can cut all three sheets at once.
- Pour the water into a shallow bowl. Mix in the maple syrup and use a small whisk to incorporate the maple syrup into the water.
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients and whisk.
- Dunk each strip of nori one at a time into the liquid and place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all have been dunked.
- Pour about 2-3 tbsp of the remaining liquid over each baking sheet, being sure to spread it out fairly evenly among the nori strips. Do not throw away the extra liquid!
- Let sit for about 5 minutes. I wasn’t patient enough to let it marinate longer, but I bet it would be even better if you let it marinate longer, for an hour or thereabouts. I wouldn’t recommend much longer because it would probably be too sticky and you don’t want to put them in the fridge either.
- Place in the oven for 7 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and pour about 3-4 tbsp of liquid over each baking sheet as you did earlier. You will not need the remaining liquid for this any longer, but you can save it if you like to make a smaller batch later if you want.
- Place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Rotate and check sheets after 10 minutes if your oven tends to patchily bake things like mine does. One sheet of mine was almost done and the other was still liquid-y at this point, so it helped to switch the pans around.
- Continue to bake for 10-15 more minutes or until the liquid is evaporated and the nori is crinkling slightly. If they are still not at this point after 15 minutes (mine were not), turn the oven up to 300 degrees and cook for about 3 more minutes until they are curly and crispy. Keep a careful eye on them at this point, as they could easily burn quickly.
- Take out of the oven when done.
- Allow to cool for a quick minute until you can handle them temperature wise and peel off the nori from the pan with the silpat liner. Place on wax paper or parchment paper, with the side that was facing the baking sheet up. Work quickly because they crisp up quite quickly as they cool.
- Eat them like they’re candy or save for a bacon-y recipe you plan to make, of course, there’ll be a recipe that uses them during my Vegan Mofo event!