Crispy Eggplant Bacon Strips


These crispy eggplant bacon strips are the answer for anyone with a bacon craving, or just a hankering for something crispy and salty without crazy additives, ultra processing or excessive ingredients.

Enjoy this crispy eggplant bacon on its own, aside some scrambled tofu eggs, in an "E"BLT sandwich, diced into a wrap, or in any way you imagine!

Taking you just over an hour to make, you will have bacon for days. Really though, you will have a lot of bacon.

Vegan, Gluten Free, Grain Free

You will need:
2 Japanese eggplants
Serrated vegetable peeler
Parchment paper lined baking sheet(s)

1/4 cup Tamari sauce
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground chipotle
several twists ground peppercorn
1 Tbsp agave
1 Tbsp brown sugar

You will make:
35-40 crispy eggplant bacon strips

1.) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.) Trim, peel and cut both Japanese eggplants in half width wise.

3.) Using a serrated vegetable peeler (or a mandolin), carefully begin peeling strips of eggplant. Each strip will be about 4 inches long. Stop peeling each side when you hit the center, which is primarily seeds. Flip eggplant over and peel strips on the other side.

4.) Lay out all eggplant strips in a single layer on paper towel and let sit for at least 10-15 minutes to allow some moisture to be absorbed.
5.) In a mixing bowl, add all remaining ingredients and whisk together well to make your bacon glaze.
6.) Using tongs or a fork, dip each eggplant strip into the glaze on both sides. Make sure each strip is well coated and let the excess glaze drip off. Transfer the strips to the parchment paper on your baking sheet, ensuring that the edges are not touching.

*Depending on how many strips you end up with, it may work better for you to divide the bacon between two lined baking sheets*
7.) Place your baking sheet in the oven for 22-25 minutes. Check periodically after 20 minutes for doneness. You are looking for the moisture to be baked out of the eggplant, so you know it will be done when there is no more steam rising off of the baking sheet.

*Be careful toward the end of the baking process, because once the moisture is gone, burning can happen quickly.*

8.) When finished baking, pull bacon strips from the oven and set aside.
9.) In a large pan, add at least 1/2 inch of your favorite frying oil. Heat the oil to medium/medium low.

10.) Add a few strips of bacon to the hot oil and allow to fry on each side about 10-15 seconds. Use your judgement here. If your strips curl and crisp before 10 seconds, pull them out of the oil.

Watch your oil:
If the bacon turns dark very quickly, turn your heat down a bit. If the bacon does not react to the oil, turn your heat up a bit. It is ok to need to adjust the heat of the oil during this process.

When the bacon strips are done frying, pull them out of the oil and set again on a paper towel for a moment to absorb excess oil.

Once your bacon is done frying and has set and cooled for a moment, you are ready to enjoy!



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