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tofu scramble with tempeh bacon

A recipe for vegan bacon made from tempeh.

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I'm addicted to bacon.

  • Oct 19, 2009
  • by
Well, not quite. I'm addicted to TEMPEH BACON!!!! AHHHHHH!!!

I had tempeh bacon for the first time not long ago. I had always been familiar with the likes of veggie bacon (processed soy strips..similar to soy lunch meat- like "turkey" slices, etc) but when I tried tempeh bacon at Cafe Flore in Los Angeles, I was totally hooked. The texture is a lot different than bacon, but the taste can be SPOT ON, especially if you make it yourself.

I tried a variety of tempeh bacon from different restaurants before I dared to make it myself. Making it yourself is easy and fun and AWESOME because you can edit several variables to make a wonderfully healthy vegan bacon to *your* specifications. I used the recipe listed to the right under "facts", taken from DeliciousWisdom.com. It's a great recipe because you cook the slices of tempeh twice - first to seal in moisture, then to get a great&greasy bacon-y texture.

The bacon I made (pictured below) was AWESOME but I know next time I will make some changes-
1. more liquid smoke! I want the smokiest bacon. EVER.
2. Greater ratio of tamari (soy sauce) to maple syrup. I want a saltier bacon. Do the opposite if you like a maple/smoky flavor.
3. Thinner slices. I made my slices sort of thick because it was my first time. Now that I know the slices can withstand the cooking methods, I'll go a little thinner next time. Be careful, though, the thinner you slice the faster they will crisp. I like my bacon a little chewy, but if you're into super-crispy bacon, go ahead and NUKE 'EM.

I made the bacon one night with dinner (on the side) and unfortunately it was so good it disappeared before I could enact my REAL plans: BLT! This bacon is also perfect as a breakfast side or mixed right in with a tofu or egg scramble.

Tempeh bacon I made! (to the right) The rest is: butter beans&brown rice and arame&carrot salad with tofu dressing. I'll have to add the recipes for those too!!

This is what I want to do with the bacon next time: sandwiches!! (photo grabbed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/photomato/)

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February 25, 2010
I've never had real bacon in my life but I want to try those ones!
November 09, 2009
I don't know if you've ever tried it, but LightLife makes a great vegan bacon product that when fried and you add a little paprika tastes just like the real thing!
November 09, 2009
Yes! Those are great! I like them because they're crispy by nature, which makes them good for vegan breakfasts and "bacon bits". When it comes to sandwiches etc I like it a little softer and chewier- I've tried pretty much every fake bacon on the market, can you tell? :P I do like the tempeh bacon recipe that I posted a lot because it's healthful qualities are greater than the grocery store products. I've been trying to cut back on my intake of processed soy. Blech.
November 09, 2009
Where I live there's only one health food store and it's not cheap, not by a long shot. So as long as I can get vegan meat substitutes the factor of whether it's processed or not doesn't really bother me too much. Is the texture of tempeh that different from regular tofu, because I find it hard to get it to crisp up the way I like?
November 09, 2009
Ohhhh I know what you mean! Veggie Life (ew did I just say that?) has gotten a lot better since I moved out to Los Angeles!

Tempeh is a blend of soybeans and grains so it is much different from tofu in taste and texture. I find it is an acquired taste - much less bland than tofu..it has a sort of earthy taste. I like it heavily marinated and thoroughly cooked - when it's on the plainer side it's really very weird, lol. BUT the recipe I posted satisfies both my needs - the thinner you slice it, the crispier you can fry it to resemble bacon.

If you look at the first photo, you'll notice the "bacon" is very thick and barely resembles bacon at all - that was my first experiment! The second time I made the bacon I sliced it a lot thinner (just like the second photo) and while I was afraid of the pieces falling apart, they held up just enough for me to get some crispy pieces. Yummmm. You should give it a try.

November 09, 2009
Yeah, in the first picture it looks more like strips of steak than bacon, but I see what you mean. As for your suggestion, I may take you up on it and give this a try. Have you experimented with it as a potential substitute for beef in meatloaf? I've got this great meatloaf recipe that I've been dying to test, but I can't find the right replacement for scrambled beaf. I've tried some pre-made products from both LightLife and Yves, but neither really worked. I also tried a combination of scrambled tofu, sliced mushrooms, and tomato past, which was tasty but not at all what I was going for in terms of texture!
November 10, 2009
Hmm, interesting! The one veggie ground beef product I swear by is by the brand Yves. Though having used it I'm not sure it would clump together so well in a loaf-like shape.

However, my go-to for a meatloaf substitite is lentil loaf - here's a recipe I haven't tried but looks pretty good. There is a vegan restaurant by my house that makes Lentil loaf and I think sometimes I dream about it, it's that good!
November 10, 2009
I'll have to try that too sometime when I'm feeling creative in the kitchen. Thanks. : )
November 10, 2009
Well, it's funny. The day after I read your review and the health food store gets a new shipment of LightLife tempeh, so I'll be trying your recipe sooner than I thought.
November 10, 2009
YES! good to know. Please let me know how you like it! Also, since it is your first time I recommend doing a few thick slices and a few thinner, as per my other comments in our exchange. That way you can get a grasp of how thick they need to be without falling apart. Hope you enjoy!!
November 18, 2009
Well, I tried it over the weekend with two different types of tempeh and both were delicious. I altered the recipe just slightly by leaving out the syrup because I'm not much of a syrup person. I also tried adding a bit of cayenne red pepper sauce to one of them. Also, I added a link to your review and recipe to my list and included links to the two tempeh products too.
November 18, 2009
Yay! So glad you liked it!
October 28, 2009
I love it! My job is having a brunch on Friday where we all need to bring in breakfast items, I was going to make tofu scrambles and fakin' bacon but I think I will try your tempeh recipe. Thanks. I love innovative vegan food. Last night I made vegan carne asada--it was wonderful. Thanks again! Aprilee
October 22, 2009
I am now officially hungry! I saw this show in the travel channel and it showed a restaurant with a large BLT with 25 strips of bacon! Not good for the cholesterol level but it looked very delicious! Thanks for the review!
October 21, 2009
October 19, 2009
Tempeh bacon isn't really my thing... but those pictures make it look so delicious that I might try it again! :)
About the reviewer
Melissa Aquino ()
Ranked #62
Born and raised in NJ, relocated to Boston, MA to study at Emerson College, transplanted to Hollywood, CA to get my career started on the fairer coast.      I love hiking, eating new … more
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Vegan bacon made from tempeh (soy cake) that can be made salty, sweet, or spicy depending on taste and added to sandwiches, breakfast foods, and more.
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