I really like making bacon substitutes out of plants. I like to see how each ingredient translates into various flavors and textures somehow related to bacon, with varying levels of success. Tofu bacon, eggplant bacon, carrot bacon...I’ve tried many. In honor of Earth Month, today I’m going to tell you about my favorite fake bacon recipe, Banana Peel Bacon!
The strips of peel get an amazing texture when roasting, and I’m in love with using up banana peels this way because they are an ingredient I would usually throw away. (While I would love to have a compost bin, in my small apartment sadly it’s not a real possibility)
Let me tell you- there are other ways to use “whole ingredients” such as peels, stems, and ends that are usually tossed out. I take it as a fun challenge to get creative in the kitchen. Not only does it lead to amazing discoveries like this banana peel bacon, but also helps to stretch the value of your groceries. Boiling chicken bones and saving vegetable scraps for soup, reserving rendered animal fats to cook vegetables in, and grinding up stale bread for breadcrumbs are some of the other ways I like to be mindful of using up as much as possible.
Yes! This isn’t some new-age gimmick to get you to eat your trash. The smokey, savory flavor of the peels is mellowed with mild spices and creamy tahini. The texture is not stringy- instead after marinating and roasting it’s mildly chewy and slightly crispy at the edges. The distinct smokey-salty flavor that might not fool anyone into thinking it’s really meat, but will certainly surprise them nonetheless. The secret to my “bacon” is a killer marinade of umami ingredients, and a low and slow roasting time to let the marinade caramelize and the bacon to properly crisp up.
So, in honor of mother earth and waste mindfulness, I hope you enjoy my recipe for crispy, chewy, certainly-not-banana-tasting Banana Peel Bacon, on the SideChef App and web.