A couple months ago I had a friend in town visiting, so we decided to treat ourselves to an elaborate vegan brunch at Karyn’s on Green, one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago. I was in such a splurging mood that I even ordered the breakfast sandwich. Now, most people who know me know that I’m not a big sandwich eater for a lot of reasons, but we were sharing and it was a special occasion. A food experience if you will.
I’m really glad I did decide to splurge and live on the edge a bit because the breakfast sandwich was the highlight of the meal. The star of the sandwich was the sweet potato “bacon” layer they had atop a tofu egg. Now, I’m not really one to simulate or utilize fake meats. I was never really a big meat eater and I don’t care for the texture of meat, nor do I miss the flavor. However, there was something about the sweet and smoky combo of the sweet potato and the hickory “bacon” flavors that worked like no other bacon substitute really had for me. I also loved that it was a meat sub made from a vegetable rather than a highly processed soy or seitan patty. There is nothing wrong with these options, and I totally understand their place in vegetarian cross-over cuisine, but they just aren’t for me.
My friend and I were both instantly obsessed with the sweet potato bacon and I vowed I would come up with a way to make it on my own. I was glad when I scoured the internet that it wasn’t already flooded with recipes. Infact, there were none to be found. There were tons and tons of recipes for coconut bacon, but none for sweet potato. After a lot of reading, I decided to sort of combine recipes I read for the coconut bacon and those for baked sweet potato chips. It takes a couple hours to slow cook the chips, but the result is totally worth it.
There is a bit of a trick to how thick/ thin you slice the sweet potatoes. If you want classic crunchy chips, then use a mandoline or slice very, very thin. I think this method works best if you’re adding to a salad which is what I did.
However, if the slices are going on a sandwich, I would make them a little bit thicker so they don’t crack when you assemble. That part is really up to you. These would even be great for dipping at a party. Regardless of how you serves these sweet potatoes, it’s sure to be a creative, crowd-pleasing dish. You will probably want to double this recipe if you plan on serving them at a party of event. This is really just enough to crumble on one huge salad or use in 1 recipe.
Baked Sweet Potato Bac-un Chips
Yield: About 4 cups chips
- 1 large sweet potato, very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Toaster oven to 250 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Toss the sweet potato slices evenly and spread out on the baking sheet. Do not double layer. Use another baking sheet if you have to.
- Brush the sweet potato slices with half of the remaining sauce then place in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
- After an hour, flip the slices and brush with remaining sauce. Baked for another hour or until brown and crispy.
- Let cool then serve in your favorite recipe.