Rice Paper Bacon
Updated: Oct 24, 2020
The easiest, tastiest and cheapest vegan bacon I've ever encountered!
I've made a bunch of different homemade vegan bacons, and lord knows I've bought plenty. The only commercially made vegan bacon I've really liked is by All Vegetarian, but they are not widely available or accessible (you can get some on their website if you live in the US, tell Tony that the Burger Dude sent ya, you won't get a discount, and I won't get a commission, but who gives a care, Tony rules!)
In any case, this is by far, my favorite homemade vegan bacon. It's easy to make (it does take a little practice, but once you get it, it's like riding a bike!) super tasty, easy to customize and pretty dang cheap!
Candice at the Edgy Veg also has a really popular Rice Paper Bacon recipe, click HERE for her amazing recipe!
CLICK HERE for my BACONATOR RECIPE!
In my variation, we are simply adding a few more spices, and the assembly is slightly different as well. I'm not sure if I was doing it wrong, but some of the tweaks I employed made it easier for me to work with the bacon which can be quite sticky! We'll also be pan frying these instead of baking in the oven.
This might look difficult at first, but I swear it's easier than it looks! And the more you do it, the easier it gets!
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Here's a video too!
How to Make Rice Paper Bacon
First here's what you need, some Rice Paper, which you can usually find at your local Asian Market, or even somewhere like Whole Foods or Sprouts. I found them at my local Ralphs / Kroger. They are also pretty inexpensive!
First we're gonna make a marinade. Feel free to tailor this to your tastes! Make it more or less sweet, salty or spicy, totally up to you! In my version I do use Accent which is MSG. If you don't want to use it, simply omit it, or you can use a mushroom based umami seasoning instead! You can also find the umami seasoning at most Asian Markets, and Trader Joe's has their own too.
You want to take two pieces of rice paper, dip them in water briefly and then press them together. You can even use three pieces if you want your bacon a little thicker!
Then you wanna dip the rice paper in some of your marinade. I used some skillets because it was the only thing I had that was big and deep enough. Some larger serving plates might do the trick too. But use whatever you have at your disposal.
Then after you've coated the rice paper in the marinade, place it on a cutting board, and smooth out the edges, and get rid of any air bubbles. You can also use a brush on some of the marinade if you want to spread it around to be more evenly distributed too.
Then, all you gotta do is use a knife or a pizza cutter (my preferred method) to slice up your bacon slices. You can also slice the rice paper in half after you've cut out your slices to make them not so long, or keep them long! Totally up to you!
After that you want to set them on a wire rack. You can either cook the whole batch and save some (or eat it all, you do what you want!) or you can just cook what you want, and then store the rest in some tupperware. Then whenever you want some bacon for a sandwich or whatever, you can just fry up a few pieces as you need. This is my preferred method too! You should use the bacon within a couple days however as it will eventually dry up.
When frying, you don't need a ton of oil. In my first attempt I coated a pan in light layer of oil. But the next day when I made some, I really just sprayed it with some cooking spray and they turned out great too. They actually get crispier the less oil you use.
You can also bake these or even microwave them (refer to the Yup it's Vegan Recipe HERE for those instructions) but I personally prefer to fry them. I find I can control the texture a bit better.
Speaking of which, I highly suggest when you first do this, to just cook one piece at a time, and figure out what texture you like. You can make these really chewy, really crispy, or somewhere in between, which is how I like them. I prefer the edges to be crispy and the center to be a little chewy. But it takes practice to figure out the "Goldilocks Zone" so I would really suggest experimenting and figuring out what you like with one piece at a time.
Another note, these will CRISP up after you let them rest on a wire rack. If you cook them til they are crispy, they will be basically like chips after you let them rest. So keep that in mind!
Guacamole Bacon Burger!
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6 - 8 pieces of Rice Paper
2 Tbsp neutral oil (I used vegetable oil)
3 Tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sriracha or sambal (chili garlic sauce)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp Accent (MSG) or Umami Seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Taste for seasoning. It will be strong and salty! Don't worry, we are only using a little bit on each strip of bacon, so it won't be as intense. Add the marinade to a large rimmed plate or skillet.
Take two pieces (or three for thicker bacon) of the the rice paper, and gently coat them in water (I used a skillet). Gently press them together and try to get rid of any air bubbles.
Then lay your rice paper bacon sheets in the marinade and coat both sides.
Add the rice paper to a cutting board (I like to add a bit of water to my cutting board and then dry off with a towel so it's slightly damp) careful not to let the rice paper fold onto itself. Seal off the edges with your fingers so there's no air bubbles and to make sure the pieces are stuck together.
Using a knife or pizza cutter, slice the rice paper into bacon strips. You can either have long bacon strips, or cut down the middle to cut them in half, totally up to you!
You can add the strips to a wire rack or leave them on the cutting board until they are ready to fry. Additionally, if you only want a few pieces of bacon, you can store them in a tupperware container and fry them later. Or fry them all and store the cooked bacon. Again, up to you!
Bring a skillet up to medium heat with a bit of oil. Fry the strips to your desired doneness. I recommend doing a few test pieces to figure out what kind of texture you like. They will crisp up a bit after frying so keep that in mind!
Once they are cooked, use them any way you want. You can literally use these them same way you would use non-vegan bacon!
If storing uncooked bacon in tupperware, make sure you use it within a couple days, otherwise it will dry up. You can possibly make more marinade and store it in that, but I haven't tried this so not sure how it would turn out. If you do, let me know how it goes!