Are you ready? This is the holy grail of veggie bacon... and we discovered it! Honestly, the best veggie bacon we've ever tried or made! And it's made from cassava (also known as yuca), a starchy weird looking root veg. Actually it's how tapioca starch is made too, when dried, and we use that all the time as a thickener instead of cornstarch!
This recipe was created by John who came up with it in our latest YouTube episode of the big salad challenge. Watch the madness below!
NOTE: if you've heard that cassava is poisonous and contains cyanide, you're not wrong. But you don't need to worry about it. From our research, it seems that the issue is with the bitter variety of cassava which is harder to prepare (cook out the cyanide) and it isn't the one commonly sold in our supermarkets. Cooking the cassava properly is all that matters. You can read more here.
The serving size varies depending on what you're making. John used half a root and had enough bacon for about 3 large caesar salads. You can either shave half the cassava as per the recipe below or use the whole thing and double the marinade amounts.
1 cassava (yuca) root
1/4 C gluten-free tamari (cansub soy sauce)
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch sea salt
coconut oil (for frying)
Combine tamari, liquid smoke, maple syrup, smoked paprika, and sea salt together in a dish.
Peel the tough brown skin off of the cassava and discard. Then using the peeler shave off strips of the cassava root. Marinade the strips of cassava in the dish with the sauce for 10 - 15 minutes.
When ready to cook, heat a non-stick pan over medium with coconut oil and once the pan is hot place 4-5 strips into the pan. Cook time is about 4-5 minutes for the first side and 3 minutes after flipped. You might need to lower the heat as you are frying in batches so the pan doesn't get too hot.
Once or twice while frying the strips add a little bit more of the marinade to the pan to help caramelize the cassava bacon.
Remove the fried pieces from the pan and place onto a plate. No need for paper towel to catch the grease! In fact, placing the strips on paper towel isn't advised as they will stick!
If you want to make the caesar dressing and croutons get those recipes here in our original kale caesar salad post.