Recipe: Smoky mushroom ‘bacon’ and spiced tofu skewers

Serves four. Time: 30 minutes. Level: Easy.


Although not exactly like bacon, of course, thinly sliced mushroom soaked in a smoky maple concoction, then pan-fried, makes a lovely vegan substitute for the hallowed pork strips

60ml (¼ cup) maple syrup

2,5ml (½ tsp) Hickory liquid smoke (available at

5ml (1 tsp) olive oil

large pinch Maldon Sea Salt

3 large mushrooms, thinly sliced


2 x 297g blocks tofu, cut into roughly 3cm cubes

5ml (1 tsp) ground cumin

10ml (2 tsp) ground coriander

pinch smoked paprika

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

fresh basil leaves, to serve

pinch dried chilli flakes, to serve


1. For the mushroom bacon, add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl, toss well to combine and coat all of the mushroom slices. Allow to marinate, 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

2. Heat a frying pan over very high heat and fry the mushroom strips in batches until slightly charred, about 2 minutes per side, discarding the smoky marinade before frying. Set the mushrooms aside until needed. Simply wipe the pan out, coat the tofu in the slices and seasoning and add the tofu to the pan in batches. Fry the tofu cubes on all sides, turning very gently, so as to not break the delicate tofu, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, until slightly charred.

3. To serve, carefully thread the ingredients onto skewers, arrange the skewers on plates and garnish with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes. Add a little more seasoning if necessary (I find tofu needs a fair amount of salt to bring out the flavours).

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