First things first, I don’t really care about any negative opinions you may have about this recipe. It is not for everyone and I’m fully aware of that. But if by chance you live a no waste lifestyle, or you are a vegan, or vegetarian who misses the crunchy smoky goodness of a once known porky strip. This recipe is for you! This recipe caused a raucous on twitter, and people are very opinionated about vegan food; to the point of making you a little uncomfortable. Don’t be one of those people please.
I was inspired to make this after I saw Tabitha Brown try it in one of her cooking videos. Apparently the Facebook algorithm thought I needed this in my life. But after Tabitha made the faux bacon, she expressed that she was not a fan, and I saw that as a challenge to make a version that was tasty. I watched several videos, and read a few recipes before attempting it; because typically after some research–you gather enough information to figure out where some people went wrong, and where there’s room for improvement. But that’s all subjective, just because I think my version is good, doesn’t mean you will, and I’m okay with that.
As a personal chef, I’m always up for a challenge. I cook for vast array of clients with many different needs, and I had some free time on this particular day. So attempting to turn banana peels into something that their not didn’t seem so farfetched. I mean–I’ve made a pretty mean lentil meatloaf before. And if you purchase conventional bananas for this, scrub the peels first due to the pesticides, and synthetic ingredients that bananas may be treated with, or as recommended by Alicia Kennedy on Twitter, get your bananas from a trusted source, and make sure they’re fair trade, if you are able to do so.
This is a great weekend project, and something fun to do with the kids. You could even refrigerate the peels for up to two days before tackling this.
Banana Peel Bacon
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 banana peels, cut into 4 strips
- 1/2-3/4 tablespoon avocado oil
- Using a spoon, knife, or offset spatula scrape the pulp from the skin. Discard. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and blend until combined.
- Add the peels in a flat layer making sure to evenly coat them. Let them sit in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
- In a cold skillet over the eye, with a little neutral oil, lie down the peels with half an inch of space between them (do not overcrowd the pan). Do not put any excess marinade in the skillet, but don’t rub the peels free of the marinade. Over medium low heat let the peels begin to sizzle, and sputter for a couple of minutes, then flip them. Do this 2-3 times until the sugars have caramelized, and the peels are becoming dark, and pruny. The appearance could be different based upon the bananas you use. After about 12 minutes, I removed the peels, and placed them on wire rack to cool. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container. Only good for about 48 hours.
NOTES: You may also make this recipe with carrots, and eggplant. And I’m sure there a few other vegetables out there that would work. If you try them out, come back and tell the rest of us how it went. I used low sodium soy sauce to cut down on some of the salt content if that is a concern for you. I also think this would be nice with some spice, so feel free to add a couple of dashes of cayenne, some crushed red pepper flakes, or some chili paste in the marinade.