Perfect Rice Paper “Bacon”

Perfect Rice Paper Bacon
The PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON – Shown here with Tofu Scramble and oil-free Hash Browns. LittleBluePlates.com

When I first saw the idea of rice paper bacon online, I was intrigued. But even though I tried multiple recipes, the results were always disappointing. The potential was there though, so I just kept making adjustments and tweaking various ingredients until finally, on the 16th attempt… I had it: THE PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON!

Perfect Rice Paper Bacon
16 batches later… PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON!

Does it taste exactly like bacon? Well… it’s reminiscent of bacon in its salty, smoky sweetness, but no one can deny- the delicate, shattering CRUNCH is the most impressive feature of all! So if you want add a sweet and salty crunch to your vegan BLT, or a crispy smoky crumble on top of a tofu scramble, this PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON is at your service!

The technique used to make this version is a little different than many of the recipes out there, so I’ve included plenty of photos to help you visualize this new and improved process. (And frankly, this version is A LOT easier and much more efficient than all the others too.)

STEP ONE:
You’ll need some RICE PAPER. (Yes, this is the same rice paper you use to wrap spring or summer rolls.) I bought my rice paper from World Market (In the specialty food section.) but I’ve also seen it from time to time in the Asian section of some higher end grocery stores, or at an Asian Market.  It looks something like this:

Rice Paper- Needed to make the PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON
Rice Paper- Use to make VEGAN BACON – LittleBluePlates.com

STEP TWO:
Take 2 sheets rice paper and stack them with the rough sides together. Using a clean pair of scissors (I run my scissors through the dishwasher first) cut the 2 sheet stack of rice paper into 1 inch wide strips.

Cut the rice paper to make the PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON -LittleBluePlates.com
Cut the rice paper into strips to make the PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON -LittleBluePlates.com

STEP THREE:
Place the rice paper strips into the marinade, turning them over several times to make sure the strips are completely covered with the liquid. Allow strips to sit in the marinade for 1-2 minutes. (Strips will be slightly pliable, but still firm. – Be sure not to leave them soaking so long that they get soggy or flimsy.)

How to make the PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON -LittleBluePlates.com
Marinade for the PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON – LittleBluePlates.com

STEP FOUR:
Take the strips out of the marinade and find its twin (matching strip of similar size and shape). Place the two matching strips together and press them together so they stick to each other, and become one strip. You’ll leave some of the marinade on the strips (and in between the strips) but do wipe off any excessive marinade from the outside with your fingers so it’s not just dripping off. Lay the strips on a parchment lined baking sheets, leaving some space between each strip, so there is room for them to crisp in the oven.

How to make the PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON -LittleBluePlates.com
Making the PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON – LittleBluePlates.com

STEP FIVE:
Bake at 365 degrees for 6-8 minutes, or just until the strips begin to brown on the ends. (Watch closely, because they can go from brown to black VERY QUICKLY. (DO NOT let them burn, or they will have a really nasty taste.)

How to make the PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON -LittleBluePlates.com
PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON – LittleBluePlates.com

STEP SIX:
Remove baking sheet from the oven and let bacon cool completely by removing the parchment to a cooling rack.  The strips will continue to crisp further as the bacon cools. (The flavor is strong at first, but mellows and improves the longer the bacon sits.) Serve immediately, or store cooled bacon in a zip-lock bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

How to make the PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON -LittleBluePlates.com
BLT with PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON – LittleBluePlates.com

PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON is delicious on a BLT, but be sure to add the bacon to the sandwich JUST BEFORE SERVING, as it will absorb moisture from the other ingredients and become soft and soggy, if left sitting too long on the sandwich.

Rice paper bacon is also delicious served crumbled over a baked potato, or on a chickpea flour “omelette,” etc.  Or just EAT IT!!! CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH!

PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON

  • Servings: 24 slices
  • Print

Reminiscent of bacon in taste and crunch, but completely plant-based with very little oil.

Ingredients

  • 6 sheets of rice paper
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon hickory flavor liquid smoke
  • 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (*See note below to eliminate oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1  1/2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (different from baker’s yeast)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2-3 small pinches chipotle chili powder
  • 2 dashes of finely ground black pepper

Directions

  1. MAKE THE MARINADE: Combine all the ingredients (except the rice paper) into a small bowl. (Soy sauce through black pepper) Mix together until oil is emulsified. Pour marinade into a flat, shallow dish.
  2. Take 2 sheets rice paper and stack them with the rough sides together. Using a clean pair of scissors (I run my scissors through the dishwasher first) cut the 2 sheet stack of rice paper into 1 inch wide strips.
  3. 3. Place the strips of rice paper into the marinade, turning them over several times to make sure the strips are completely covered with the liquid. Allow strips to sit in the marinade for 1-2 minutes. (Strips will be slightly pliable, but still firm. – Don’t leave them in so long that they get soggy or flimsy.)

    4. Take the strips out of the marinade and find its twin (matching strip of similar size and shape). Place the two matching strips together and press them together so they stick to each other, and become one strip. You’ll leave some of the marinade on the strips, but do wipe off the excess marinade with your fingers so it’s not just dripping off. Lay the strips on a parchment lined baking sheets, leaving some space between each strip, so there is room for them to crisp in the oven.

    5. Bake at 365 degrees for 6-9 minutes, or until the strips begin to brown on the ends. (Watch closely, because they can go from brown to black VERY QUICKLY. (DO NOT let them burn, or they will have a really nasty taste.)

    6. Remove baking sheet from the oven and let bacon cool completely by removing the parchment to a cooling rack.  The strips will continue to crisp further as the bacon cools. (The flavor is strong at first, but mellows and improves the longer the bacon sits.) Serve immediately, or store cooled bacon in a zip-lock bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

    Serving Suggestions: PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON is delicious on a BLT, but be sure to add the bacon to the sandwich JUST BEFORE SERVING, as it will absorb moisture from the other ingredients and become soft and soggy, if left sitting too long on the sandwich. Rice paper bacon is also delicious served crumbled over a baked potato, or on a chickpea omelette, etc.  Or just CRUNCH it and EAT IT!!!

*NOTE: The vegetable oil is essential to achieving the perfect crunch in this recipe, though I did cut it back as much as I possibly could without comprising the results. (only 1 teaspoon divided among 24 slices) However, if you wish to cut out the oil entirely, it will still work, but the results will be a chewier, softer bacon, less resistant to moisture, and less of a crunch.

Find this recipe and more great plant-based recipes at http://www.LittleBluePlates.com

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BEST RECIPE for PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON -LittleBluePlates.com
BEST RECIPE for PERFECT RICE PAPER BACON!   ~LittleBluePlates.com
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