Aubergine/eggplant bacon recipe 

 I’ve tried tempeh bacon and various other faux bacons and I’ve even heard of coconut bacon, but it wasn’t until last week I came across aubergine bacon. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, slowly getting more and more hungry, and spied some delicious looking aubergine bacon being made by the inspirational Jack Monroe. Whilst I was never a big fan of bacon before giving up meat at the age of eight, and I don’t think you can genuinely recreate a taste that simply, I am a massive fan of smoky, sweet and umami flavours so was drawn right in.

Jack posted a recipe on their Instagram feed, and I scoured the net for some others to try get the right balance and to suit what ingredients I had in, as several of the American recipes (they love bacon after all!) included Liquid Smoke which I have never come across. I found that the recipe by Kellie’s Food to Glow had a good selection of ingredients (i.e. I had them all in my cupboards!) and a pretty simple technique.

I am not going to pretend that this recipe tastes like bacon. Whilst I barely remember the taste, I know it wasn’t this. However it is a totally mouth-watering sticky, smoky treat that works well in a sandwich, as a side or in a salad. Even marinading (as below) it was getting me excited, and once grilled…. Well, wow!

I first had it hot in a sandwich – toasted chunky bread, lashings of tahini, topped with spinach, cherry tomatoes and piles of the aubergine, which made for an indulgent-yet-irresistible breakfast that was so good that I almost missed my train that morning (it would have been totally worth it). Then the next day I had the leftovers chilled in a salad with chickpeas, peppers, tomato and kale, mixing the leftover marinade with a bit of chilli and mustard for a dressing. Both were equally as wonderful and moreish. The marinade is really versatile so could be used for any grilled vegetables, tofu or as mentioned above adapted to create a salad dressing. Have fun, play around!

Do you have any great meat subsitute recipes? What are your favourite ways to cook aubergine? 

Aubergine bacon

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 40mins + dependent on marinading time)
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine/eggplant
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple or agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Sprinkle of pepper

Method

Cut the aubergine into thin strips, lengthwise from top to bottom. Ideally a maximum of 1/4 inch thick, although I know I always struggle to  slice an aubergine equally!

Mix all the other ingredients and then marinade the aubergine in a dish or bag – whatever covers it all – and leave for at least 30 minutes, ideally an hour. The longer, the more the flavours will soak up. You can leave it for hours, or even overnight in the fridge.

Grill the slices on a griddle. You could pan fry or grill under the grill but I like the griddle effect (and you really don’t need to add any oil). Once the slices are soft but beginning to crisp they are ready. Enjoy! use it

I used the leftover marinade in a dressing, or you can use it for marinading other vegetables.

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