The best way to cook mushrooms
Jim says your cooking method is the key to using mushrooms as a meat substitute.
“To get the best taste and texture out of mushrooms, I suggest boiling is the way to go,” says Jim.
Why is boiling mushrooms the best cooking method?
If you think boiling mushrooms will result in a pile of mush, think again.
“When you boil a plant like a potato, asparagus or corn, it goes to mush,” says Jim. “It's in the name, so you think [mushrooms] will to go to mush, but the opposite happens.”
This is because mushrooms are 90% per cent water. Jim explains that when you boil mushrooms, the high temperature causes the cell inside the mushroom to rupture and “spill out their contents because this is an elastic structure that doesn't fall apart from itself."
“From inside the cell is where all the tasty stuff can happen. You need to get it out and then treat it with fire, and that fire will change the amino acids and the sugars that are available with heat, and that brown-rich colour shows you that flavour is being developed."
How to make vegan bacon with mushrooms
What you'll need:
- Button mushrooms
- Sesame oil
- Maple syrup
- Cracked black pepper
- Soy sauce
- Frying pan
Fable Food vegan bacon recipe
Jim thickly slices button mushrooms and adds them to a dry pot. Next, he adds ⅓ cup of water to encourage the water inside the mushrooms to come out. And he puts the lids on.
While you're waiting for your mushrooms to boil, make your "bacony" marinade.
“Put a bit of paprika and sesame oil, maple syrup, cracked black pepper, soy sauce, and a bit of salt," he says. (Watch the video above for a closer look at how Jim does this.)
If you like, you can absolutely add liquid smoke to your mushrooms or smoked paprika for an extra smokey flavour.
In the time it's taken to make your marinade, your mushrooms should be ready. But make sure you keep an an eye on them.
Next, add your mushrooms to your marinade and mix it all together.
Cook your mushrooms in a frying pan. Let them sizzle while turning them frequently.
Jim says it "should take about 15 minutes for your bacon to sizzle and cook off."
He adds: "Stay on top of it and look for areas that are absolutely scorching. But that burnt affect is flavour and it's bacony."
Voila! Delicious mushrooms that taste just like bacon.
What is vegan bacon made of
Vegan bacon, also known as "facon," is typically made from plant-based ingredients to replicate bacon's flavour, texture, and appearance. While many recipes are available online and commercial products to try, these are the common ingredients often found in vegan bacon.
- Plant-based protein: like tempeh, tofu, seitan (wheat gluten), or textured vegetable protein (TVP). These protein sources are often marinated, seasoned, or smoked to mimic the savoury and smoky flavours of bacon.
- Liquid smoke: liquid smoke is a flavouring agent derived from the condensed smoke of burning wood.
- Seasoning: various seasonings and flavourings are used to enhance the taste of vegan bacon. This may include ingredients like soy sauce, tamari, maple syrup, liquid aminos, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, and other spices.
- Vegetable oils and fats: some recipes include vegetable oils or fats to add richness and mimic the fatty texture of bacon. This can include oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or other plant-based alternatives.
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