We're serving vegan BLT's for our 4th of July party. Well, I guess we should call them TLT's because I'm using tempeh bacon. And, wow, is it amazing!
When I shot this recipe with my creative team - Trent Lanz and Alicia Buszczak, they absolutely freaked out and couldn't believe how much it tasted like real bacon. We made vegan BLT's for lunch that day with toasted gluten-free bread, this gluten-free tempeh bacon, my homemade mayonnaise, and some lettuce and tomato. Oh....they were so so good! We have another photo shoot in August, and as they confirmed the dates with me they both added a footnote asking for BLT's and ramen for lunch! (I'll post that epic vegan ramen next week.)
This tempeh bacon is really easy to make. But, it is delayed satisfaction because you do need to wait to marinate the tempeh for at least 4 hours, and preferably for 12 hours or overnight for the best flavor, and then bake them for almost an hour to get a crispy texture without burning them.
Just like with my mushroom stroganoff and French onion soup, I'm using the Massel vegan beef-flavored broth to boost the "meaty" flavor of this tempeh bacon. For those of you not familiar with Massel broths, this is an Australian company that is really popular with Aussies, controlling about 75% of the market share in grocery stores. I think this is the best commercial broth on the market, and is a fantastic low-sodium healthier option for anybody. And, it's also gluten-free, vegan (dairy-free and egg-free), kosher, and low in carbohydrates. It is also so delicious you can drink it like tea!
Massel utilizes only the best quality ingredients in their products - premium olive oil, vegetables, herbs, and Southern ocean Australian salt. Massel broths are now available in stores and online in North America. Use the store locator to find out where you can get the broth in your local area. You can also buy it from Amazon. You can get the beef-flavored broth in concentrated liquid stock, bouillon cubes, 7 cubes (free from onions and garlic), and the bouillon powder and seasoning.
I use the liquid broth or bouillon cubes to make my base liquid, and then I boost the concentration and flavor with the seasoning powder. That's what I've done to get an amazing flavor with this tempeh bacon. The gluten-free tamari and apple cider vinegar add a richness, the liquid smoke adds a smoked bacon flavor, the maple syrup rounds out the sharpness of the flavor, and the chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper adds a subtle spiciness.
For the best results, be sure to cut your tempeh bacon in very thin slices, and make sure they're evenly coated while they marinate. I check the tempeh half-way through the marination process and turn them over or redistribute if needed.
Resist the urge to use less oil while cooking, as the oil will encourage the tempeh to get crispy while baking. Also, the bacon needs to be consumed right after it cools so that you can enjoy it while it's as crispy as possible.
I love to enjoy this tempeh bacon in sandwiches. It's also amazing as part of a breakfast spread with scrambled tofu or added to a caesar salad or other salad. Or, it's a delicious snack on its own! Leave a comment below and tell me how you're using bacon.
*I'm an ambassador for Massel, but my opinions are my own.