The Bacon Alternative Gordon Ramsay Uses For His Vegan BLTs

There really aren't many dishes involving meat that you can't recreate as vegan anymore. After all, beans and other legumes can make excellent plant-based seafood, and even Oscar Mayer recently rolled out meatless hot dogs made from mushrooms and pea protein. Even bacon, whose fanbase claims there is no alternative or equivalent, has several meat-free impostors, but the one Gordon Ramsay uses for his vegan BLTs involves rice paper.


Oops I did it again....I played with #Vegan Teachers Heart with this #BLT 😉 #tiktokcooks #learnontiktok

♬ Vegan BLT – Gordon Ramsay

The famed chef, restaurateur, and globe-trotting television star certainly doesn't abide by an exclusively vegan diet, but he makes room for certain recipes in his vast repertoire. As seen in a video he posted on his TikTok page, his vegan BLTs bear an uncanny resemblance to the real deal, particularly because of the doppelganger "bacon" he manages to create. He marinates crumbled tofu with spices with soy, melted vegan butter, and maple syrup before covering strips of rice paper with the mix and baking them until crisp. His recipe is certainly going to take much more time than tossing some sliced bacon in a skillet or oven, but the end result could fool anyone into believing they're looking at the real thing, right down to the color and crunch.

How to fake bacon with rice paper

Gordon Ramsay's bacon-flavored marinade includes spice, some sweetness, and smokiness. Once he places bacon-sized strips of rice paper (the same kind that you would use to make sesame soba spring rolls) in it, they quickly become pliable. Where Ramsay's recipe for rice paper vegan bacon differs from others? Many recipes call for baking the strips immediately after marinating, but the chef adds one more step. After the rice paper has marinated, he presses crumbled tofu onto each piece to mimic the fat (and texture) that is present in actual bacon. Be aware — he advises pressing the tofu overnight, so you'll need to plan accordingly. Too much liquid may make mush of your rice paper before it can bake, so don't skip this step.

Ramsay cooks the bacon in the oven, applying more marinade as necessary. By the time it's done, it could seriously pass — visually — for pork-based bacon. To keep his BLT recipe 100% vegan, he also creates an egg-free basil aioli to spread on the bread and adds sliced avocado to the tomato and lettuce garnishes.

Now, will this rice paper bacon taste exactly like the real thing? It's unlikely; while you'll get plenty of spice, smokiness, and flavor, there is no actual meat, so you might miss the classic porkiness. However, BLTs have so many other textures and flavors going on that it may not matter to you — particularly if you follow a vegan diet already.

Use vegan bacon in anything that calls for the real thing

If you enjoy Gordon Ramsay's version of vegan bacon on a BLT, you'll probably like it wherever a recipe calls for bacon. Once it's cooked and crumbled, you can sprinkle it on top of classic wedge salads, potato salads, and loaded baked potatoes. Wrap the unbaked strips on vegan cheese-stuffed dates or jalapeno poppers, or on club crackers to make Southern bacon-wrapped crackers. You can use it to make plant-based pasta carbonara, club sandwiches, breakfast pancake dippers, and roasted Brussels sprouts with shallots and "bacon." Or, imagine, you can eat as a side next to your toast and vegan tofu "egg" scramble for breakfast.

Rice paper and tofu are just one method of making vegan-friendly bacon. Other options include creating the breakfast favorite out of tempeh, coconut, shiitake mushrooms, and even thinly sliced carrot strips. It's all a matter of preference and taste — although some argue that the rice paper method produces the best crunch while maintaining a bit of chewiness in the middle, which is exactly what we love in a strip of bacon.