How Gordon Ramsay Turns Rice Paper Into Savory Vegan Bacon

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay knows a thing or two about cooking meat, whether he's doling out advice for a great steak or frying chicken for chicken parmesan. But there's more to Ramsay than just meat, his cooking expertise is all-encompassing. He offers something for everyone — and yes, that includes vegans. His recipe for vegan bacon maintains the crispiness of the real thing. That signature texture is all thanks to Ramsay's use of one, unique ingredient — rice paper. 

A common tool for crispy dumplings and spring rolls,  rice paper lends itself to vegan bacon because of its trademark versatility in flavor and consistency. On the textural end, the paper comes ultra-thin, which means it can crisp up nicely. The paper also has a relatively neutral taste that lets other ingredients and flavors shine. So, in the case of Ramsay's rice paper bacon, his spice and soy sauce marinade takes center stage. Not to mention, rice paper looks the part, too; if cut to the size and shape of bacon, it nearly resembles the original. 

Even if you eat meat, rice paper bacon is well worth a try. The next time you're craving a BLT, take your cue from Ramsay. His recipe is surprisingly simple and pulls together a vegan-friendly lunch in no time. 

Pair rice paper with tofu and spices for a Ramsay-inspired bacon alternative.

From mushrooms to tempeh to tofu, all kinds of plant-based ingredients have been employed to make vegan bacon. Of the bunch, however, rice paper is a favorite for Gordon Ramsay, who uses it as a vessel for delicious, smoky flavors. Ramsay starts the recipe with a combination of spices, maple syrup, and soy sauce, which he whisks together. He also adds vegan butter.

Once the marinade is ready, he cuts slivers of rice paper to the size and shape of bacon, then dunks them in his dark sauce — the color of which is not unlike that of cooked bacon. Once laid on a tray, Ramsay covers those rice paper strips with crumbled tofu, pressing the vegan essential into each piece. Rather than fry the bacon, he uses the oven, baking his rice paper until it crisps. 

From there, Ramsay enjoys his bacon on a BLT, though you can savor the meal exactly as you would the original. Try it in salads for added crunch, with eggs for breakfast, or on a slice of toast. Rice paper bacon may sound like a strange substitute, but with Ramsay's recipe, you won't miss out on anything.