Gretchen’s Desk: B in This Vegetarian BLT Is Rice Paper ‘Bacon’

By Gretchen McKay
From Pittsburgh Submit-Gazette

Regarding favorite sandwiches, one meat-and-veggie combination stands head and shoulders above the remaining: bacon, lettuce and tomato.

A BLT is easy to arrange, makes use of humble substances and each chew affords an intoxicating combination of salty, crunchy, cool and tangy-sweet.

Nonetheless what do you have to don’t eat meat?

I discovered a reasonably tasty substitute for bacon whereas strolling by way of my Instagram feed: rice paper.

Produced from a mixture of white rice and tapioca flours, salt, and water, rice paper is the paper-thin developing block for spring rolls. It’s purchased dried in skinny, crisp, spherical sheet kind, and must be rehydrated briefly in water sooner than it might be molded into type and wrapped spherical substances.

To make bacon with it, you slim the paper into skinny strips with a pair of kitchen shears, soak it in a salty/smoky/sweet marinade crafted from soy sauce, honey, liquid smoke and maple syrup, and bake it in a scorching oven for spherical 8 minutes.

Not solely does it odor just like the precise issue as a result of it crisps on the pan, but it surely absolutely moreover sizzles like bacon as a result of it cooks. Furthermore being vegetarian, it’s moreover lower in saturated fat, ldl ldl cholesterol and vitality than precise bacon.

We’re nonetheless many weeks away from the juicy, sun-kissed, homegrown tomatoes that make summer season consuming such a pleasure, nevertheless chances are you’ll nonetheless make a fairly first price sandwich using vine or hothouse tomatoes. I made my BLT with toasted slices of nation white bread, Boston lettuce leaves and a generous slather of Duke’s mayo.

Vegetarian BLT

For Bacon

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sheets spring roll rice paper wrappers
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Rice paper “bacon” for a vegetarian BLT. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Submit-Gazette/TNS)

For Sandwich

  • 8 thick slices of big, ripe tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 small head Boston lettuce, divided into leaves
  • 8 slices Pullman loaf or nation white bread
  • Mayonnaise


Preheat oven to 400 ranges Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and put apart.

Whisk collectively oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, Liquid Smoke, smoked paprika, garlic and onion powders and black pepper in a shallow baking dish until successfully built-in.

With kitchen shears or a extremely sharp knife, decrease rice paper wrappers into prolonged, 1-inch-wide strips. Don’t concern if a number of of your sheets crack or you end up with some half-pieces.

Fill a giant bowl with barely warmth water. Keep collectively 2 rice-paper strips of roughly the equivalent type and dimension. Dip briefly inside the water, which is ready to set off them to frivolously stick collectively. Squeegee the excess water off alongside along with your fingers.

Dip the doubled strip inside the marinade, gently, coating front and back. Let the excess drip off, then place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all strips have been dipped (using a brush as needed as you get to the highest of the marinade). Line them up on baking sheets as shut as attainable with out overlapping.

Roast (middle rack) strips until they bubble and curl in spots and start to actually really feel crisp on the edges, 7-9 minutes. Be careful: They’ll shortly go from crispy to burnt. (For those who want them just a bit chewier, take them out a minute earlier.)

Compose sandwich: Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Toast bread inside the toaster.

Unfold one aspect of toasted bread with mayonnaise. Add 2 slices of tomato to half the bread slices. Prime with 1 or 2 lettuce leaves, then add 3-4 strips of bacon.

Prime with remaining slices of bread. Press down barely, decrease in half and eat right away.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

— Tailor-made from

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