Wonderfully crispy and salty-smoky-slightly sweet, this vegan tofu bacon recipe hits all the right notes. And it cooks up in only 10 minutes!
7ouncesextra firm tofu, sliced thin*half a 14-ounce block; aim for 12-14 slices, 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick
2tablespoons olive oilfor cooking
2 - 3tablespoonssoy sauce2 tablespoons for good flavor but not too salty; 3 tablespoons if you like it salty [I think 3 tastes more like actual bacon]
1teaspoonpure maple syrup
Slice your tofu.** Lay slices on a couple of layers of paper towels. Add another paper towel on top and press gently to extract some of the moisture from the tofu.
Place a large non-stick saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. If your burner runs hot like our high BTU burner on our gas stove, opt for lower - medium or even medium low. You know your stove best! You want to fry your tofu nicely, but you don't want your oil to burn.
Add olive oil to the pan.
When the oil is hot, lay the tofu slices in a single layer in the pan. The tofu will bubble, sizzle, and maybe even spit a bit so use caution, but know this will result in the easiest, most delicious tofu bacon of your life! Cook until light golden on one side, 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook the other side until light golden, 2 minutes or so.
While the tofu cooks, mix together the soy sauce, pure maple syrup, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.
When both sides of the tofu are golden and the slices are beginning to stiffen and look drier around the edges, reduce the heat to low. Reducing the heat is important to prevent burning! Then pour the soy sauce mixture over the tofu and toss the tofu slices until coated in the mixture. Cook, tossing gently, until the soy sauce is evaporated, about 1 more minute. Transfer to a clean plate to cool a bit and then enjoy!
Tofu bacon keeps, refrigerated in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. But once it sits for a bit, it does lose its crispiness. Still delicious! Just not crisp anymore.
* Some extra firm tofu is still somewhat fragile, so when you slice it thin, it can break apart when cooking. I like to use a very thin spatula to carefully flip the tofu until it's cooked enough to hold together. Honestly, the smaller, broken off pieces of tofu bacon are probably the tastiest, so personally I'm good with a few casualties. ** To save time, I heat the oil in the pan while I'm slicing my tofu. But I suggest saving that shortcut for after you've made this recipe a few times and are familiar with it. :)