If pizza is mentioned, it’s inevitable for pepperoni to pop up in everyone’s mind. However, you can’t pick up that phone and order a box of pepperoni pizza because you just started going vegan. So should you simply let your mouth water and wait for your mind to get tired of picturing that freshly-baked pepperoni pizza? Why prolong the suffering when you can make vegan pepperoni from scratch and use it for whipping up your homemade pepperoni pizza?
So many people love pepperoni because of its characteristic spicy flavor. Definitely, you will love the recipe below because it lets you welcome the sight and taste of pepperoni pizza back into your vegan life. It’s true that meatless pepperoni does not taste 100 percent just like the real deal, but it’s the closest thing to it that you can consume guilt-free.
Once you have your own slices of vegetarian pepperoni, you can then come up with pepperoni-topped pizza — there are tons of super simple recipes out there in cyberspace. But meatless pepperoni is not only good for making pizza. It’s something that you can use for making sandwiches, quesadillas, spaghetti and so many other treats. In other words, your every meal — especially pizza — does not have to sport only vegetable-looking and –tasting ingredients!
Ready to learn how you can make with your own two hands pepperoni that’s completely free of meat? Read on!
- 300 grams of tofu (the firmer, the better)
- 3 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (crushed)
- 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds (ground)
- 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar
- teaspoon of fennel seeds
- teaspoon of liquid smoke
- teaspoon of sea salt
- teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of anise
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Cooking spray
- Have your oven preheated to 200°C.
- You need to get as much water as you can out of the tofu. To do this, have the block of tofu wrapped in a clean dish towel. Place it in a large bowl and put something heavy on top of it, like a massive dictionary placed on a small plate.
- After a few minutes, slice the block of tofu into small cubes.
- Reach for your food processor and place the cubes of tofu in its bowl. Also add into the bowl your red pepper flakes, ground mustard seeds, smoked paprika, crushed fennel seeds, coconut sugar, garlic powder, ground anise, liquid smoke, sea salt and black pepper. Don’t forget that 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper if you want your vegetarian pepperoni very spicy!
- Pulse the ingredients several times, each one lasting only for a second or two. Feel free to scrape off the ingredients on the sides and at bottom of the bowl from time to time with a rubber spatula.
- Taste the mixture. Do you want it spicier? Add some more crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Do you want it smokier? Feel free to add a few more drops of liquid smoke. What’s so nice about this homemade meat-free pepperoni recipe is it can be tailor-made to how you imagine the perfect pepperoni!
- Once you’re pleased with the taste, place the mixture on a large baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper. Grab another piece of parchment paper, place it over the mixture and start flattening it with your hands. Try to make it into something with uniform thickness, about an eighth of an inch. Spray with a little cooking spray.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until it’s lightly brown, dry and a little crispy — yum!
- Allow it to cool for a while. Grab a small circular cookie cutter and start cutting away pieces your meatless pepperoni. Place on a pizza crust together with the rest of the toppings of your choice, or let it cool thoroughly, then transfer to a clean container and refrigerate for use later.