Tempeh is by far my favorite meat substitute. There’s something about the nuttiness, the texture, and the overall uniqueness that makes it so appealing. But when eaten alone, without any sort of flavoring, tempeh can be a bit bleh. And the first recipe any tempeh beginner stumbles upon? Tempeh bacon.

I’ve always avoided the tempeh bacon recipes since they called for liquid smoke, and I thought a smokey flavor would be necessary for some good ol’ bacon, but surprisingly, it’s totally fine without any! Just char and burn it a little, and I found it to be perfect.

I started off using this recipe from Lunchbox Bunch but added more soy sauce since it wasn’t salty enough, but lately, I’ve just been eying it, using a mixture of soy sauce, agave nectar/maple syrup, olive oil, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. How salty the tempeh gets depends on how thinly you slice it – the thinner it gets, the crispier and saltier it becomes.

I used some my tempeh bacon for a nice tempeh and avocado wrap that was definitely missing some tomatoes and grilled vegetables.  And then polished off the rest alone!