Eggplant bacon. It's a thing.

This crispy flavorful eggplant is a tasty addition to a vegan salad or sandwich. I used a mandolin to get the paper-thin slices. This isn't the time for thick cut bacon because it won't get crisp. I used a japanese eggplant but you can use the standard fatty nightshade and just cut it in half.  You want to make only enough that you will eat today and tomorrow. This isn't something to produce en masse.

 

Preheat oven to 225 F while you prep.  

  • 1 japanese eggplant or a medium regular eggplant cut in half then sliced very thinly

Bacony flavoring sauce to brush on:

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (20 ml) tamari
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegan Worcestershire (or non vegan if you don't give AF)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) real maple syrup
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (go lighter if you don't like spice. it gets hot after it's baked)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for topping
  • 1  Tbsp olive oil if desired (I made them fat free) and/or pinch garlic powder if desired

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and brush over both sides of thinly sliced eggplant and place on a parchment lined large cookie sheet. Use two small ones if you don't have a large enough pan.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 mins (check after 30 mins) so they are dried out. Low heat is critical here or it will burn. If it isn't crispy by the end of 40 minutes increase temp to 250-275 and give it another check in 5 min increments.  This all will depend on how thick you slice your eggplant.  Then use it in your favorite bacon application!

You can see I used it to accent my salad pita with homemade vegan tofu mayo.