Fakin’ Bacon

There’s no such thing as faking bacon, but for me, a salty smoky flavor is enough to satisfy my cravings. My favorite bacon flavoring subs are smoked paprika, chipotle, and liquid smoke. I also really like Morningstar Farms’ Veggie Bacon Strips even though they look like Play-Doh. My new favorite bacon sub is coconut bacon.

I first heard about coconut bacon when one of my Twitter followers asked where one could find large coconut flakes in El Paso. Sprouts of course sells them, but you can also find them at Albertsons in the produce section among those bags of bulk items like nuts, candies, trail mix, etc. I was completely perplexed by the idea of coconut bacon, but after doing some research I was sold on it and set out to try it for myself. The combination of the liquid smoke, soy sauce, and fat from the coconut render a delicious mimic of bacon.

I followed this recipe from VegWeb:

3 large handfuls of large coconut flakes, unsweetened
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional- I chose to omit it since I don’t like sweet things)

Preheat oven to 400 (Vegan Good Things recommends preheating the oven to 300 & baking for 20 minutes). Place coconut in a shallow baking pan. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over coconut and mix, making sure to coat it well. Bake until crispy. Make sure to watch them, they can burn quickly. I stored mine in a mason jar after they cooled completely. They’ll keep for about a week.

I recently came across The Chubby Vegetarian’s post about coconut bacon, Chef Jesse Kimball, and The Memphis Tap Room. It’s a really good post and I can’t wait to try their version coconut bacon. They actually smoke the coconut rather than use liquid smoke. Make sure to watch the video of The Memphis Tap Room on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives. The Smoked Coconut Club Sandwich looks amazing.

This post is long overdue, as I actually made and photographed this sandwich last year after a trip to the farmers market at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing. Everything except the coconut was purchased from the farmers market. The bread is from Belle Sucre, which has not made a presence at the farmers market this year. They will possibly return June 12. Belle Sucre will be there this Saturday, June 9.

Bibb lettuce and tomatoes from New Mexico farmers. Baguette from Belle Sucre Bakery in El Paso.
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