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Starch Water Bacon

Yields1 Serving

This vegan bacon is made from the starch water that remains from washing flour to make seitan. It's super simple to make, and despite my love for bacon made from vital wheat gluten, this the closest to the real thing as I've ever come.

Meaty Part (Red Streaks)
 1 ¼ cups starch water, mixedsee instructions below
 2 tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos
 1 tbsp maple syrup
 2 tsp beet root powder and/or a few drops of red vegan food coloringfor color
 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
 1 tsp dried porcini or shiitaki mushroom powder
 ¾ tsp salt
 ½ tsp torula yeastor sub 1tsp nutritional yeast with an extra couple drops of liquid smoke
 ½ tsp garlic powder
 ½ tsp onion powder
 ½ tsp liquid smoke
 ½ tsp marmite
Fatty Part (White Streaks)
 ¾ cup starch water, mixedsee instructions below
 ½ tsp onion powder
 ½ tsp garlic powder
 ½ tsp white pepper
 ½ tsp salt
Plus Oil for Frying

After washing flour, let your starch water rest for several hours or overnight so it has time to settle. Check out the step-by-step for washing flour to make seitan here. Once settled, pour off most of the excess water, leaving about 15% on top. Then stir them together. This does not need to be an exact science, but you're looking for the mixture to resemble a very thin crepe batter when its all stirred up.

TIP: You can leave your starch water in the fridge for several days if you're not going to be able to use it right away.


Separate the batter (mixed starch water) into 2 parts. Measure out 1 1/4 cups for the "meat," and 3/4 cup for the "fat." Then add all of the "meat" ingredients into the 1 1/4 cup batter, and the "fat" ingredients into the 3/4 cup batter. I used a blender stick to make it super quick, but you can use a whisk, blender, or even a spoon.

TIP: The measurements do not need to be exact. I worked with what I had from one washing and you may have more or less. You can adjust the seasonings to however you like and think of this more as a general guide.


Heat a large, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add a little bit of cooking spray or oil to keep the batter from sticking. Pour thin stripes of red and white mixture (using more red than white) into the hot pan, and move the pan as necessary to keep the batter as thin as possible, spreading it around the pan into a solid "pancake". If it's too thick your bacon will be more chewy than crispy. As a solid sheet, it should be able to easily slide around the pan. No need to flip, it will cook through fairly quickly if it's thin enough. Just transfer it to a plate and keep making pancakes until your batter is used up.

TIP: My measuring cups have spouts so I kept everything in them as I mixed to make the batter easy to pour out later. I've heard some people transfer their batter to used squeeze bottles to make it even easier to keep the batter strips as thin as possible.


Once you have your pancakes made, you can use a pizza cutter or kitchen scissors to cut, or rip them into strips. I did a combination of cutting and ripping for a more authentic look.

TIP: Don't worry if your pancakes rip some as cooking, they will look more authentic with torn edges. Any little pieces can be made into bacon bits.


Heat another tablespoon or two of oil on the pan over medium-high heat, and working in batches, fry your strips, adding oil as necessary to finish.

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