Sunday, August 1, 2010

By Popular Demand: Coconut Bacon!


On my trip to Montreal last week, I went absolutely nuts over the coconut bacon-BLT that we had for lunch at Aux Vivres. I vowed, I swore I would find a way to recreate their smoky, crispy coconut bacon goodness... as it turns out, all I had to do was Google "coconut bacon" and a whole bevy of recipes popped up. I am nothing if not resourceful.

I first come across this recipe on VegWeb.com, although it seems to pop up on many different sites, including that of the Royal Bacon Society. Why the hell is there something called the Royal Bacon Society? At any rate, I'm glad that those bunch of bacon freaks managed to include a vegan recipe.

A couple notes about this recipe first - the original recipe says to bake it at 400, until it gets crisp. It doesn't say how long it will take to get crisp. A few other people who made it advised baking it at 400 for up to 30 minutes. I will tell you that the first batch I made, I put it in the oven at 400 and in 10 minutes it was burnt to a crisp. I don't think that baking pan will ever recover. So I'm printing the recipe below with the time and temperature that I used for my second batch, which came out successfully. If anything, the next time I make it, I might bake it at an even lower temperature, for a longer period of time. My suggestion for you is to just check it every 5-10 minutes or so to make sure it's not burning, and take it out of the oven when it is just crisp. It will continue to crisp as it cools.

Many of my twitter followers have been requesting this recipe, and I am very excited to share it with you, so without further ado:

Coconut Bacon
makes about 3 cups (enough for 4 - 6 sandwiches, depending on how big you make 'em)

3 large handfuls of large flake, unsweetened coconut
1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
2 Tbsp. tamari
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (optional, but recommended)

Preheat oven to 300. Place coconut in a shallow baking pan. Combine other ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over coconut. Use your hands to mix and make sure the coconut is evenly coated. Bake at 300 for 20 minutes, or until crisp. It will continue to crisp as it cools, and is best eaten at room temperature.



It's amazing how much this tastes like "real" bacon (although I will say that the last time I ate real bacon was probably 18 years ago). When you mix the liquid smoke, tamari, and syrup, I swear it smells just like bacon. I think it's all about the smokiness. Also, the coconut has a slight fattiness to it that really does make this feel like you're chewing on real, crispy bacon. It's almost uncanny.

The coconut bacon was begging me to put it on a BLT, so I had some fresh sourdough bread, lettuce & tomato (duh), and a generous spread of Vegenaise. This is most definitely a vegan good thing.

30 comments:

  1. Wow, what a great idea. And I LOVE coconut! :)

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  2. Looks great! Have to try...

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  3. That sounds AMAZING! I'll definitely need to try this!

    And in regards to the "Royal Bacon Society" ... ewwwwwwwwww!!

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  4. When I saw your tweet about about coconut bacon, I was dying to see what you'd come up with! What an interesting idea! I need to try this... and not tell the hubby about it. Because he does not like coconut and I'd love to play with his head. :-)

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  5. @A Thought for Food - yes definitely make it for the hubby! I swear with your eyes closed, you would never guess that you were eating coconut. It's not often that I eat something truly surprising but this was one of those things.

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  6. Wow, this sounds interesting! And it looks so easy.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your recipe, I've tried eggplant bacon but didn't like it, so I will try this instead!

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  8. What a great idea. I would love to try this:)

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  9. Neat! I'm definitely going to try this-just need to get some liquid smoke...

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  10. I use to cook at Aux Vivres...your right it is super yummy!

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  11. I live in Montreal and I have to say my favorite food in the ENTIRE city is the BLTs at Aux Vivres.
    Who ever brought you there during your visit is an awesome friend.

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  12. be still my heart! does this sound insanely yummy or what?? now, to go in search of large flake coconut! thank you for sharing!

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  13. Oh my goodness! I would have never thought to take coconut and turn it into bacon. That's pretty awesome. I'm going to have to give this one a try.

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  14. I have a better and even easier Raw Organic Vegan Version that is faster and looks and tastes like "bacon!" get Maine Sea Vegetables Company's DULSE in their packaged bag. It is a seaweed that is purple, organic, has all the vitamins, protein, minerals that your body needs and craves! Get the bag, cut open, cut the Dulse into "bacon" strips or shapes then simply marinate or soak in some extra virgin organic olive oil (everything in Raw Organic Cuisine is Organic please!). In a few minutes it will stiffen up, harden, get crispy from the olive oil for some reason will make it crunchy and stiff like a "Fried Bacon!" put into BLT Sandwich, make my Vegan "Fried Eggs" or more I have tons of recipes, photos on my main website and in my new recipe book too here http://www.RawInTenMinutes.com.
    Enjoy!
    Eco Chef Bryan Au bring you 2,5 & 10 Minute easy fast fun delicious raw organic vegan recipes!

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  15. Yum!
    New follower, found you through Meg's Cooking Addiction.

    Kristi @
    Veggie Converter

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  16. WOW! Fascinating! I found a link to your recipe at the Vegetabull blog, and I must make this soon!
    Thanks for sharing. I love your blog :)

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  17. I cannot wait to try this! I found you via a link at The Vegan Version who I found via a link from So Delicious' Facebook page. I've missed faux bacon since going gluten-free and have been making sausage and pepperoni but no bacon. This will complete the meatless trifecta!

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  18. ahh.. where can i buy coconut like this?

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  19. @looseleaves - I usually buy it at Whole Foods or other health food-type stores.

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  20. Since I've yet to leave a comment, I must 1st say that this is one of THE greatest things ever! EVER!! I now buy cases of coconut from Amazon (couldn't find flakes near my home) & it's totally worth it.

    I did find that I was wasting more coconut bacon than I cared to, because it would stick to the cookie sheet. Somewhere around my 30th batch, I decided to try using parchment paper & I didn't lose a single bacony flake! YAY!!! Felt I had to share that, in case anyone else experienced the same issue. And if you haven't made this yet, you're missing out. Make it today!!!

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  21. I finally found coconut bacon (and it came in a huge bag too) so i'll be trying this tonight. Thanks so much!

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  22. I've had the BLT from Aux Vivres as well, would love to try and make this myself though! Any hints as to where I can find liquid smoke in montreal?

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  23. You can find liquid smoke in Montreal at the atwater market. There's the bulk food place on the second floor and the hot sauce place on the main floor. They both have it.

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  24. I've found that lightly oiling the pan works better for me. For some reason it sticks otherwise.

    This is my new favorite recipe!

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  25. This recipe ROCKS!!!! I have recommended it to so many vegans and non-vegans as it is so healthy and delicious! meat eating friends scarf it as fast as I can make it! :D

    As a label reader, I was dismayed to find that of the 3 brands of liquid smoke at my store, 2 were ALL chemicals, yuk...:C BUT Wright's Liquid Smoke is water and natural hickory smoke concentrate. That's it. YAY!!!

    Enjoy this one often! Also if I don't have maple syrup I sprinkle it with a bit of raw organic sugar and it adds a nice mapley taste... just add for the last minute or so! :D

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  26. I had high hopes for this, as my non-vegan husband and I (probably at least 98% vegan) have always liked shitake "bacon", made by tossing sliced shitake mushrooms with salt and olive oil and then microwaving (or baking) until crisp. For some reason, I love vanilla coconut milk but don't care for flaked coconut unless well hidden in a cookie with chocolate, etc. I guess I was hoping for a magical transformation, which didn't happen. Perhaps people who love coconut like it, and maybe others who don't like mushrooms wouldn't care for the shitake "bacon".

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    1. Sorry you didn't like it. Everyone else I know who has tried this recipe loves it! But you're right, you probably need to love, or at least like, coconut in the first place. We're home chefs, not magicians!

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  27. Um...wow!!!!!! Saw this on Buzzfeed today and had to make it immediately. It's fantastic. However....I am a massive salt fiend (I kno, I know), and when it was done it just wasn't salty enough for me. So I added salt while it was still hot. A lot of salt. Way too much salt. It's certainly still edible, and will be fantastic in the salad I'm making this evening, but next time I will be more careful! Might try adding extra tamari/soy sauce next time. Thanks for this!

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  28. is stumbled up on this recipe and made it . using parchment paper . and low sodium tamari . next time i will use full sodium tamari but . there will be a next time . loved it . i used Bob;s red mill unsweetened coconut flakes and it worked perfectly! thank you !! i just had my first "bLT" in over a decade .. using vegan mayo and a gluten free roll and it was devine!!

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  29. I hAve mine in the oven smells yummy

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