“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.”~
Amidst the recent furore about the possible carcinogenic aspects of bacon, accompanied by all sorts of vitriol, I though I’d put in my own word for pigs….and for tempeh.
Pigs are intelligent, sociable, funny, friendly, and clever…and billions of them are suffering everyday because of the insatiable demand for bacon.
Intensive farming, which is how over half the pigs on the planet are now farmed, causes untold suffering.
In the name of compassion, why can’t we just leave pigs alone?
On a different note, I can honestly say that in the last few years before I made the break and became vegan, I stopped eating bacon anyway, simply because it wasn’t nice. Chewy, watery, and tasteless. So what’s all the fuss about?
Meanwhile, the future is vegan.
I personally think that marinaded, fried tempeh makes a splendid vegan alternative to bacon. It’s robust, textural and easy to use.
TEMPEH ‘BAKEN’ SARNIES WITH TRIMMINGS
So here’s how to do it:
- The hard bit is finding tempeh, at least in the UK.
- Once you’ve found some tempeh, buy extra and freeze it…because it freezes perfectly.
- For 2 servings, defrost 112 gms. tempeh.(half a normal pack size)
- Before marinading, tempeh is best ‘relaxed. This involves a nice hot bath: place the slab of tempeh in a saucepan of boiling water so it is immersed. Turn the heat right down so it’s not even simmering. Leave the tempeh in the water for 15-20 mins.
- Remove the tempeh from the water, pat it dry with kitchen towels and then slice it up.
6. Once you have 4 square pieces , cut each piece into further square slices, as thinly as possible. I ended up with 12.
7. The other half can be saved in the fridge for up to 3 days before using it.
(P.S. don’t worry about the grey and black flecks, that’s a natural result from the fermentation process that goes into turning soya beans into tempeh. P.P.S. There are recipes out there to make your own tempeh ….it may yet come to that…..)
8. Marinade the tempeh. There are all sorts of marinade recipes to be found on the net. I keep it simple:
- 2 tbs. maple syrup.
- 4 tbs. Tamari.
- 1 tsp salt.
- 1 tsp. vinegar.
- 1 tsp. Black Pepper.
- 1/2 tsp. Chipotle paste (optional).
- 1/2 tsp. paprika.
- 50-70ml. water.
9. Mix marinade ingredients together and pour over the sliced tempeh.
10. Leave overnight for best results.
11. When you’re ready to fry, gather any of the ingredients that go to make your perfect ‘Baken’ sarnie : red sauce, brown sauce, mustard, pepper, vegan mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, bread, vegan spread…..worcester sauce? Chips? Fried onions? ….Or just as is.
12. Fry the tempeh in 1 tbs. hot oil ( such as organic rapeseed oil), on a medium heat. Fry until golden and crispy round the edges. 3-5 mins. Avoid moving the tempeh around too much in the pan. Drizzle a little more oil in if necessary. Adjust heat as necessary to avoid burning.
13. Serve up on a warm plate, and make your perfect sandwich…….. I’ll leave that bit with you.