Crispy Coconut Bacun and Onions

I’ve made bac-un from mushrooms, coconut, eggplant, carrots and even zucchini. I’ve baked and dehydrated it all, and it’s all been just okay, but this recipe hits it on the head. Savory, sweet, umami, tangy and even spicy, if you like. The marinade can be adjusted to your own tastes. However you choose to flavor your onions and coconut, you’re going to love the crispy combination of the onions and coconut, and all the earthy goodness it delivers! These can be used as a topping for your favorite veggie burger, casserole, avocado sandwich or even just sprinkled on your roasted vegetables.

The onion and coconut bac-un will keep crisp for up to 5 days in an airtight, glass container….but I doubt they’ll last that long in your kitchen!

Prep time: 30 minutes

Bake time: 30-45 minutes

Yield: 2 cups


  • 2 Tbls. low sodium tamari
  • 3 Tbls. balsamic vinegar cream*
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1½ Tbls. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbls. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbls. mushroom powder
  • Optional: add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes to bring the heat
  • 2 cups coconut/large flake
  • 2 cups thinly sliced yellow or sweet onions (1 large onion should yield 2 cups)

*Buying balsamic cream makes a big difference in the marinade. You can also make your own by heating 3 cups of good balsamic vinegar over low heat, reducing the liquid until it becomes syrup-like.


  1. Whisk together all liquid and spice ingredients for the marinade in a shallow bowl.
  2. Use a mandolin to thinly slice the onion.
  3. Add sliced onions and coconut flakes to the marinade bowl, carefully spooning the marinade to cover all onions and coconut using a rubber or wooden spoon.
  4. Let sit in marinade for at least 1/2 hour; longer is better.
  5. Heat oven to 170 degrees.
  6. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.
  7. Gently pat dry your onion and coconut pieces and lay them out in a single layer on baking sheet, doing your best to minimize any overlap.
  8. Bake for about 45 minutes, checking after 20 minutes for browning and crisping.
  9. After all pieces have crisped up, remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 15 minutes before carefully removing to a plate to cool completely. These will be delicate and a bit crumbly…just the way you want them!