Vegetarian Bacon Mayonnaise (No Bacon!)

June 2, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: From Tyler Kord's cookbook, A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches.

It would not be unreasonable to balk at the official the name of this recipe—"Bacon Mayo (for Vegetarians and Meat Eaters)"—and its motley crew of disparate ingredients: toasted Lapsang souchong tea leaves, soy sauce, allspice, mayonnaise, and... drumroll please... grape jelly.

Kord offers no explanation for how he discovered that this combination of ingredients, when allowed to steep and, yes, marry, would be reminiscent of smoky bacon (was it an act of desperation or of genius? is there a difference?), but he write, "Sometimes you want to put bacon on a sandwich, but then you realize that you are a vegetarian. This is not quite like putting bacon on a sandwich, because it won't have the texture of bacon. But it will taste like bacon. And if you make it with Vegenaise, then you have vegan Bacon Mayo!"
Sarah Jampel

Makes: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Lapsang Souchong tea leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon grape jelly
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Heat an oven to 250° F. Toast the leaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10 minutes, or until completely dry and crumbly. Crush to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tea leaves with the remaining ingredients. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Taste. "It totally does not taste like bacon," at this stage explains Kord.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to 4 days). Now give it another taste: "Bacon!" Kord writes. "Kind of! But definitely delicious."

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Condiment/Spread|Sandwich|Sauce|Cheese|Summer|Vegetarian

Reviews (7) Questions (0)

7 Reviews

Lk G. May 26, 2018
SassyinClifton, or others, wondering which soy sauce brand did you use, and do you think it would matter?
 
rudder June 27, 2017
This recipe is fantastic! Made it for BLTs without the bacon =)
 
SassyinClifton June 27, 2017
Checking back in regarding "Bacon Mayo": it's a slam dunk for both the pescatarian (that's me) and the carnivore (my husband). Hubby is amazed at how much it tastes like bacon. I haven't had bacon in eons, and I love it's complex taste. I think the tea really brings a complexity that I'm not sure liquid smoke can replicate. I also have liquid smoke and use frequently in recipes that call for bacon. That's not to say you couldn't sub the tea for it, but the final product will be different.
 
SassyinClifton June 22, 2017
Today I bought the Lapsang Souchong tea (Twining tea bags; 1 tea bag= apprx. 1 teaspoon tea) and grape jelly from the grocery store. Our preferred store- bought mayonnaise is Hampton Creek Just Mayo which we love and it also happens to be vegan. I mixed up a batch of the vegetarian "bacon" mayonnaise, and it's in the fridge curing. I'll give it a taste in the next few days and report back....
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. June 27, 2017
What'd you think?!
 
Nance June 11, 2017
Assuming the toasted tea is for the smoky aroma, why couldn't you just use a little bit of liquid smoke instead?<br />
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. June 27, 2017
I think that might make a good substitution!