Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon

Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon

Just because The Whole Ingredient is rambling around a dusty Greek island in search of olive groves and abandoned shrines, there’s no reason you should go without your weekly fix of whole-food inspiration – and this recipe comes to you just in time for a lovely September Saturday cooked breakfast…

It might be an absurdly simple recipe, but one taste of this autumn-inflected savoury delight will have it heading straight to your weekly meal rotation.

Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon

(Side note: do you have a weekly meal rotation, or planner? I don’t think I could manage without a system!)

Anyway. Despite the fact we make and eat this Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon at least once a week, I’ve somehow neglected to write it up for YOU…

Consider my wrists slapped.

Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon

This really is one of the staples of vegan ‘faux’ cooking, and it’s incredibly easy. And delicious. I mustn’t forget to tell you how delicious it is.

You might have tried Tempeh Bacon or Shiitake Bacon (both also delicious), but there’s something really classic, and versatile, about creating it with tofu. I think it’s actually my favourite.

But why is it so great? Well:

  • it’s deliciousness comes from only FOUR simple ingredients (or six, with optional extras!);
  • it tastes of maple;
  • it’s smoky;
  • it’s a little spicy;
  • it’s salty; and
  • it’s crisp on the outside, soft in the middle.

Seriously – what more can I say?

Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon

Having waited for so long to share this recipe, you get the benefit of three years worth of experimentation. So here are my top 5 tips to Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon success:

  1. Slicing into ‘rashers’ makes for excellent sandwiches.
  2. Baking works better than frying (but see point 5).
  3. Add more maple syrup than you think you need (at least 2 tbsp).
  4. Add more smoked paprika than you think you should (a good, heaped, tbsp).
  5. For crispy bacon bits (so good!), make little cubes prior to marinating and fry in coconut oil on a high heat.

While I have your attention with point 5; I have a fantastic autumn soup recipe coming your way soon that is just perfect with the addition of salty, smoky, sweet and crispy morsels. I think it might also be a worthy contender to sausages (Tofurky, of course) this year in the Bonfire Night baked potato-beans-maple-smoke feast of dreams.

Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon

Ooh, look at me mentioning Bonfire Night already – it’s not even Halloween month yet!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll be back with more autumnal flavours next week.

Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
Delicious, simple to make and so versatile! This Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon will become a family favourite and mealtime staple.
Recipe type: Side, Breakfast & Brunch
Cuisine: 30 minutes or less, Vegan, Gluten Free
  • 1 block (about 280g) of firm tofu*
  • 1 tbsp tamari, or other good soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp (heaped) smoked paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 2 tsp oil for cooking (optional, but recommended for crispness and flavour). Coconut, rapeseed and olive oil have all worked well.
  1. At least 30 minutes prior to cooking (overnight is great):
  2. Drain the tofu and slice into slabs, about 1cm thick. Place in between sheets of kitchen paper and press down gently until you've got most of the water out. Be careful not to press too hard, you want the slices intact.
  3. Take a container or plate that will comfortably fit all the slices in one layer. In it, add the marinade ingredients minus the oil and give it a good stir.
  4. Dip in the tofu slices one at a time, so that they're completely coated in the marinade, and arrange so that they're not overlapping.
  5. Leave for 30 minutes at least.
  6. To cook:
  7. Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
  8. Line a baking tray with parchment, or a silicone mat. If you're not using oil, a silicone mat works best.
  9. Place the slices onto the tray and drizzle over the oil, if using.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once.
*My favourite tofu to use for this recipe is Clearspot, but Cauldron (available in most supermarkets) works well too - just don't use too much force when pressing between kitchen paper, it can squish.
Make it gluten free by using gluten free soy sauce.



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