Crumbly Mexican Soy Chorizo with Vegan Eggz Scramble
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder (mild)
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (spicy hot), or more to taste
- 5 oz pressed extra-firm tofu, finely crumbled
- ½ cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Combine the seasoning blend ingredients in a bowl with the dry TVP granules. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mash and finely crumble the tofu with a fork. Set aside.
Whisk together the liquid ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a brief boil. Add the seasoned TVP granules, cover and set aside to rehydrate for 10 minutes.
Fold in the crumbled tofu until blended through evenly. Refrigerate in an airtight container to allow the tofu to absorb color and seasonings and to blend the flavors. Store up to 1 week in the refrigerator or in the freezer for longer storage. Crumble and brown the mixture in a well-oiled skillet and use in recipes as desired.
Crumbly Mexican Soy Chorizo
Tofu bacun is so easy to prepare and yields excellent results. It just requires a little time for pressing the tofu (8 to 12 hours), marinating the tofu with the seasoning liquid (a minimum of 12 hours), and low-oven baking or drying in a food dehydrator (about 2 hours). For this recipe I recommend using a tofu press, such as the TofuXpress®, that will hold the shape of the tofu while compressing the texture and removing the water prior to marinating. This recipe yields about 8 oz./½ lb. of bacun.
• 1 block (about 14 oz before pressing) extra-firm tofu
• high-temp cooking oil for frying
• ⅔ cup water
• ⅓ cup tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• ¼ cup dark brown sugar or real maple syrup
• 1 T vegan Worcestershire Sauce
• 1 T liquid hickory smoke
Press the tofu to remove as much water as possible. Blot the surface dry and then cut ⅛-inch thick slices lengthwise.
Combine the marinade ingredients and stir until the sugar dissolves. If you prefer a less salty bacun, opt for low-sodium tamari or soy sauce. Pour a small amount of the marinade into a small food storage container and begin layering the tofu strips into the container, overlapping the slices as you layer. Handle the slices carefully as they will be rather delicate.
Pour the remaining marinade over the slices and seal the container. There should be sufficient marinade to just about cover the slices completely. Seal the container and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 48 hours, with 24 hours being ideal.
Preheat the oven to 225°F/110°C. Place a non-stick baker’s cooling rack on a baking sheet. If you don’t have a cooling rack, line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the slices in a single layer on the rack. Again, handle the slices carefully as they will be rather delicate. Place the sheet on the middle oven rack and low-bake for 2 hours.
Alternately, a food dehydrator can be used at the highest setting. Dry for 2 hours or until the slices are dry to the touch but not completely dehydrated.
Place the slices in a food storage container and refrigerate until ready to finish and serve.
Finishing the Bacun
Tofu bacun benefits from frying in oil to create the crispy texture. Pour enough high-temp cooking into a skillet to cover the bottom completely and place over medium-high heat. Add the strips to the skillet without overcrowding and fry until nicely browned, turning occasionally. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Try laying the bacun on the towel with an undulation to mimic a cooked bacon appearance. If desired, season with some coarse ground black pepper while still hot. The bacun will crisp further as it cools and will hold the undulated shape.
Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use in recipes. Pre-fried bacun can be reheated in a low oven.
Sweet and Smoky Tofu Bacun
This recipe yields 1 cup of deliciously sweet, salty and smoky vegan bacon bits, which are ideal for topping salads or eggless egg recipes, such as omelettes, scrambles or vegan deviled “eggs”. However, these crispy bits are not recommended for prolonged cooking in moist dishes such as casseroles or quiches, as the coconut will rehydrate and produce an undesirable texture.
• 1 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill™ brand)
• 2 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 1 T dark brown sugar or real maple syrup
• 2 tsp liquid smoke
• 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (preferably from my recipe which can be found in The Gentle Chef Cookbook)
In a bowl, whisk together the seasoning ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Add the coconut flakes and toss well to evenly distribute the seasoning. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of several hours, and better overnight, to rehydrate the coconut flakes and absorb the flavors.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and distribute the seasoned coconut flakes on the parchment paper in a single layer. For a peppery bacun flavor, season with fine ground black pepper. Place the baking sheet in the oven on a middle rack and set a timer for 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and stir the flakes, again redistributing them in a single layer. This process will need to be repeated every 5 minutes for a total of about 15 minutes for slightly chewy bacun bits, or 20 minutes for crispy bacun bits.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in a zip-lock bag or a suitable covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use