Soy Bacon Bits and Spaghetti Carbonara

It’s not like I’ve spent the last 10+ years of my life in pursuit of a good imitation of meaty bacon, but now I almost wonder why I haven’t – these soy bacon bits were just so crunchy and chewy and smokey and salty. If I was challenged to fool someone into eating fake meaty food without knowing, this would probably be my safest bet, and this is the stuff if you want to make a vegan freak out into thinking they’ve just consumed something animal-based. Not that I’d ever encourage anyone to carry out such a beastly deed.

carbonara

We’ve used these bacon bits as a yummy pizza toping and in two kinds of pasta sauce – the other was just a tomato sauce with chick peas, and here’s the carbonara sauce we whipped up the other night.

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 dl soy flakes
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • canola oil for frying

I first mixed the soy sauce, vinegar, syrup and liquid smoke together. Then I placed the soy flakes and the seasoning in a bowl and stirred until the flakes had absorbed all the liquid.

Now I heated our cast iron skillet with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and then fried the soy bits until nice and brown all over, with a few blackened spots here and there. For crispy results, I’ve used more oil, and for a chewier and less greasy result just a thin layer is enough.

I drained the bacon on kitchen towels and then it was ready to be used – in pasta, on sandwiches, as a pizza topping, or in salads. Yum.

soybaconbits

Simple Carbonara:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 dl soy cream (or other vegan option – rice, almond, oat)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • plenty of black pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 dl soy bacon bits
  • chives and nutritional yeast

I heated up the oil and fried the onions until browned. Then I added the garlic, fried a minute more, and added the soy cream and heated it up. Then I removed the pan from heat, and stirred in the salt, plenty of black pepper, and the lemon juice. This makes enough sauce for a dry-ish pasta dish for 2 persons – add more cream if you like it saucier.

When the spaghetti was cooked, I stirred most of the soy bacon bits in the sauce, and then mixed the sauce with the pasta. We sprinkled our portions with nutritional yeast, chives, and more soy bacon bits.

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