Vegan Flying Jacob
It’s been a while since I shared a planticized version of any classic Swedish dishes, and I thought it was about time to do it again. So buckle your seatbelts and hold onto your hats, because here comes some culinary craziness, called Flying Jacob!
I’ve been trying to figure out just how Ove Jacobsson, the man credited with creating this casserole, decided upon the ingredients you see in the photo above. (Note: Ove wasn’t veggie so he used chicken and bacon – two ingredients that we, of course, will not be using.) We know that the “flying” in the name was due to his job in the air freight industry, but the ingredients? Did he come up with them one day when there was a lack of oxygen in the cabin? Did they come to him in a dream? Were they all that was left in his cupboard? The questions are many, the answers few. But when the recipe appeared in the Swedish cooking magazine Allt om Mat in 1976, it became an instant success. Soon, households all over Sweden were cooking Flygande Jakob. And it’s still popular today!
This time around I decided to use a different method of creating a plant-based type of bacon – using coconut flakes. No, no I haven’t gone coconuts, I’m just using them! I figured, “Hey this has already got bananas in it, why not go all tropical?!” Coconut bacon is quick and easy to make and gives a nice little flavor and texture kick to this already fun dish.
I chose to use some new Tzay soy strips instead of chicken. Tzay is based on a centuries’ old recipe created by monks in Thailand. As soon as I or other plant-based people use a product like Tzay, someone always cries “processed food!”, “GMO!”, “sugar!” or “fake!”. So I thought I’d point out a few things here. This product uses GMO-free soy, contains no sugar, is all natural, and uses no additives or preservatives. Here are ALL the ingredients: Water, soy protein powder, soybean flour, soy beans, potato flour, salt, pepper and corn flour. These and other similar products are frozen when purchased. Depending on what’s available where you live, you might decide to use TVP (textured vegetable protein), which is usually sold dry and needs to be rehydrated before cooking.
This is an easy-to-make casserole, it’s fun, and it’s sure to get your guests talking and discussing the combination of ingredients. But it’s also delicious! I can’t quite explain how all these tastes come together to make your mouth so happy – but believe you me, they do! So I think should go and whip up some vegan Flying Jacob today!
- 1½ cups (3.6 dl) – rice
- ca 8 oz (250 g) – soy ’meat’, in pieces/chunks
- 1 tsp (5 ml) – paprika powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml) – onion powder
- 8 fl oz (240 ml) – plant-based whipping cream
- ¾ Cup (1.8 dl) – chili sauce
- 2 bananas, sliced
- ½ Cup (1.2 dl) – roasted/salted peanuts
- oil or vegan margarine Coconut ’bacon’
- 1 Cup (2.4 dl) – large coconut flakes
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) – tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tsps (10 ml) – liquid smoke
- a splash of maple syrup
- Mix the tamari, liquid smoke and maple syrup in a small bowl.
- Pour the coconut flakes on top and stir gently until all the pieces are coated.
- Bake on a baking tray lined with parchment paper at 350F (175C) for about 5 mins.
- Stir the flakes and bake for about 5 more mins. IMPORTANT: Keep your eye on them so they don’t burn! These flakes can easily turn black in just a few minutes, so watch them carefully the first time you make them!
- Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.
- Fry the soy pieces in some oil, adding the paprika and onion powder after a few minutes.
- Whip the plant-based cream until it is light and fluffy, and fold in the chili sauce.
- Grease an approximately 8 x 10 inch (ca 20x26cm) glass baking form with oil or vegan margarine.
- Spread the cooked rice evenly on the bottom of the form, followed by the fried soy pieces and the cream/chili sauce mixture.
- Place the sliced banana pieces on top, gently pressing them down a little, and bake at 400 F (200 C) for about 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the pan, sprinkle some peanuts on top and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the top is a nice color.
- Top with the coconut bacon and serve!