5.0 stars stars based on 8 reviews
Meat-free bacon recipe made from coconut flakes. Makes a savory, crispy topping for salads or casseroles. Or enjoy coconut bacon as a filling, healthy snack.
The best meat-free bacon recipe.
Note, this coconut bacon was inspired by this recipe by Cookie and Kate. I followed it pretty closely but made a couple modifications.
This recipe traditionally starts with coconut flakes, however, BOTH grocery stores I went to were out, so I had to resort to drastic measures. I purchased a real coconut. The full fruit.
I don’t necessarily recommend this, but it was a fun adventure. I’ve made coconut bacon numerous times and it always turns out well. But I have to say this was by far the best batch. If you are skeptical about how “bacon-y” coconut bacon can be, then you have to try it with fresh coconut. The texture is simply unbeatable. Since fresh coconut flakes haven’t been dried and sitting on a shelf for months, they readily absorb the other ingredients and develop a complex texture of tender, crispy and chewy that rivals the best friend bacon.
Here’s what I did:
After bringing the grocery bags in the house, one toppled over and dumped the coconut onto the kitchen floor, after which I discovered my two cocker spaniels were very curious about this odd tropical object.
My husband, Greg, helped me crack into this sucker with a nail and a hammer. We rested the coconut on a cutting board and pounded one hole into the top. Then we turned it over and pounded another hole on the opposite side. Then we drained the coconut into a glass. It produced about a pint of liquid, which is pretty great considering this coconut was about 2 bucks from my local Asian store and the equivalent amount of coconut water in one of those fashionable-hipster-coconut-water-cartons would be who knows how much.
After the coconut was fully drained we took it outside for the messy part — smashing it with a hammer.
The hard part:
Then we used a strong, sharp knife to get under the white coconut meat, separating the meat from the brown shell. If you wiggle the knife in there just so, the coconut meat will pop out of the hard, outermost shell. After we had a few healthy pieces, we cut the coconut halves into smaller, more manageable shards.
Then we pulled out a sharp vegetable peeler and carefully peeled the coconut shards, using a lot of pressure.
I’ll admit, I got a little impatient with this step. It’s hard labor. Once we had a decent sized batch of fresh coconut flakes, I collected the remaining coconut shards (with the brown soft inner husk) and threw it in the Vitamix with some coconut water because I just didn’t have the energy to peel them all.
I added a little sugar and vanilla extract (and rum!) to the Vitamix with the raw coconut and blended away. This was a great base for smoothies for the week.
Making the coconut bacon (the easy part):
After all that hard work extracting the coconut from the shell, it’s a relief to know getting the coconut to taste like bacon is pretty simple. Toss the coconut flakes with the soy sauce, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Then bake until crispy. That’s it!
2-3 Cups Dried Coconut Flakes or Fresh Coconut
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Tbs. Maple Syrup
2 Tsp. Liquid Smoke