This really isn’t fake meat: it’s seasoned and baked tempeh. Tempeh, like tofu and setian, has been around for centuries, and originated in Indonesia. Tempeh is a soy product made from whole soybeans and the varieties you’ll find in available now are usually also made with other grains as well. I used Soy Boy 5-grain tempeh for this recipe. The soybeans and other grains are hulled and cooked, then pressed together in a cake along with some sort of a starter to allow them to slightly ferment. Unlike tofu, tempeh has a chewy texture that makes it perfect for facon bacon.
The most difficult part for me was cutting the tempeh thinly enough without having it fall apart. The thinnest pieces tasted the best, but because it’s pressed grains, it fell to pieces when sliced too thinly. You can see that I have thick and thin pieces in my marinade tray here:
There are tempeh bacon recipes all over the web, so I decided to use one from a reliable source: The Vegetarian Times. The marinade was perfectly flavored, and like I mentioned, my only difficulty with the recipe was slicing the tempeh. Soak the slices overnight in a mixture of soy sauce, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, and liquid smoke. Then bake them after brushing on some canola oil and sprinkling on some paprika.
I’ve used tempeh a few times in the past and had it once at a restaurant, but I think this re-introduction has inspired me to give it another try in different recipes. Do you have a favorite way to enjoy tempeh?