I didn’t grow up as a religious Jew. We never had pork in the house, but once in a while we would have bacon. Sometime when we ate out at diners, we got bacon and eggs. When my family started becoming religious, we moved over to the Morning Star Farms stuff (which has no meat, but has eggs and dairy).
Since moving to Israel, I had not had a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) in any shape or form. That all changed last year when I went to LA. In LA, I went to a restaurant call Real Food Daily. The food there was amazing. I finally had an opportunity to try BLTs again – this time kosher and vegan. All I can say is yum!
I haven’t been back to LA since then, so I’ve haven’t had the opportunity to have one again until I decided to make my own bacon. The secret ingredient in making bacon is the liquid smoke (hickory flavoring). I’ve been bringing it back with me on trips to that I’ve made from the US, but I won’t need to do that anymore! I found it at a store called Super Deal on Derech Hevron, in Jerusalem. My shlepping days are over!
Recently, my girlfriends and I had a vegan brunch. I brought a very basic tofu scramble and this bacon. It was a hit. The incredible part is how easy it is to make bacon. If I would have known that sooner, I wouldn’t have waited this long to make it.
- Yield: 24 pieces
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
I love to make BLT sandwiches out of these. It feels so wrong. I guess that's one of the things that makes it so fun.
- tempeh - 1 package
- maple syrup - 3 tablespoons
- soy sauce - 1/8 cup
- olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- cumin - 1 teaspoon
- liquid smoke - 1 teaspoon
- oil - for frying
- Slice tempeh as thin as you can without having it fall apart.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Soak tempeh in the mixture for at least 5 minutes.
- Fry in hot oil until lightly tanned on both sides.
Now that liquid smoke has made it to Israel, there are only two other vegan food items that I would love to have here. When Silken Tofu and Vegannaise make it, I will be made in the shade. Out of the two of them, I think that I would prefer the silken tofu. There are so many creamy desert recipes that call for it. There is vegan mayonnaise in Israel, but they don’t keep it stocked and I can only find it every third or so trip to the health food store. It’s very annoying that way. It’s also not as good as Vegannaise. They know what they are doing and it is the perfect consistency.
There is one more thing that I would love stores here to carry – Earth Balance Margarine. I try to stay away from margarine like the plague. There are some recipes where there is no choice, and I need to use the regular margarine, but I don’t make those often because that stuff is so unhealthy.
Just to make it clear, I love living in Israel, and wouldn’t give it up for all the silken tofu or Vegannaise in the world. I’ll wait patiently until those things make Aliya.
Is the liquid smoke an Israeli version, or imported from the US? I’ve seen recipes calling for it, but never used it (b/c I’ve never seen it in teh shops). Where do you buy it?
Hi Ruth! It’s imported from America. I think that it’s Wright’s brand. Whatever it is, it has an O-U. I bought mine in Super Deal, on Derech Hevron, In Jerusalem, but my cousin in Efrat says they carry it in his supermarket. I assume that you can probably get it in most “American” supermarkets in Israel. I had just never seen it before and brought a bunch back with me when I visited the US. Good luck!
What do you say in Hebrew when inquiring about liquid smoke in case they don’t understand what I’m asking for.
The only place that I have been able to find liquid smoke is in American types of supermarkets. If you are in Jerusalem, they have it in Super Deal. I’m pretty sure that if you ask them for liquid smoke, they will know where to find it. Good luck!
Another question: Can you find silken tofu in Israel anywhere? Every time I ask for silken tofu they just say – no.
Even though I am a former American, can you explain to me what the difference is between regular and silken tofu.
Unfortunately, there is no silken tofu in Israel. Silken tofu is more process and is very smooth – sort of like thick cream cheese. Regular tofu comes in a block and retains it shape. There are like a billion amazing dessert recipes that use it because of its creamy nature. Since you can’t get it here, I’ve had to find other ways to make those kinds of desserts. There are ways to get around it. Trust me – when the finally decide to import silken tofu, I will be one of the happiest people in this country. I’ve brought some back with me from trips that I’ve taken and there really isn’t any substitute for it.