Are you ready? This is the holy grail of veggie bacon… and I discovered it! Honestly, it’s the best veggie bacon I’ve ever tried or made and it’s made from cassava (also known as yuca). It’s a starchy weird looking root veg. It’s actually how tapioca starch is made too, when dried, and I use that all the time as a thickener instead of cornstarch! These crispy cassava bacon slices were layered on crisp lettuce leaves and drizzled in vegan caesar dressing for one hell of a salad.
This cassava bacon is officially the holy grail of veggie bacon... no joke! Make it and serve it with a crunchy and creamy vegan caesar salad.
Combine low-sodium soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup, smoked paprika, and sea salt together in a dish.
Peel the tough brown skin off the cassava and discard. Using the peeler, shave off strips of the cassava root. Marinade the strips of cassava in the dish with the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes.
When ready to cook, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat with coconut oil and once the pan is hot place 4 to 5 strips into the pan. Cook time is about 4 to 5 minutes for the first side, and 3 minutes after flipped. You might need to lower the heat as you're 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 strips of 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.
The serving size varies depending on what you're making. I used half a root and had enough bacon for about 3 to 4 large caesar salads. You can either shave half the cassava as per the recipe or use the whole thing and double the marinade amounts.
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 (to 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.
If you want to make the caesar dressing and croutons get those recipes here in the original kale caesar salad post.