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Mushroom "Bacon"

Mushroom Bacon

In no way was I trying to mimic the actual flavor of bacon here. After all, I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years now, and I never was tempted to eat meat ever again once my decision had been made. At this point, I don't even remember what meat tastes like. In fact, the smell even makes me a bit queasy. Packaged soya products meant to "replicate" the appearance and flavors present in meat, such as wieners, ground "meat" or burgers never did interest me either.

But mushrooms on the other hand … I'm always curious when I come across a new idea for mushrooms, so smoky, crisped up and salty mushrooms did appeal to me. Dried meaty mushrooms surely couldn't disappoint. Depending on the type of mushroom used, the texture and baking time for these "bacon" strips will vary slightly. Another variable to keep in mind is the width of the mushrooms slices — the thinner, the crispier. Portobellos will yield a "fattier" version, and button mushrooms work well too. But I recommend king oysters if you can get them because they are long with a firm texture that stands up well under the heat. I wanted strips of mushroom bacon too, just because.

For a vegan breakfast fit for even the fussiest of eaters, serve these up with some gently spiced scrambled chickpea flour, lightly herbed pan-fried potatoes, and some whole grain toast on the side. Such a hearty breakfast will keep you going well past lunchtime.

Ingredients:
  • 4 king oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon tamari (soy) sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions:
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the mushrooms evenly on the sheet. Preheat an oven to 350°.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, oil, liquid smoke, sugar, paprika and salt to taste. Brush both sides of the mushrooms with the tamari mixture. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, turn the mushrooms, and cook for another 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are dried out and begin to crisp up.
  • Depending on how many strips of mushrooms are desired, it may be necessary to do these in batches. They are best when cooled down.

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