Carrot lox is delicious on a toasted bagel, piled high with vegan cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced red onion and fresh dill. The salt-baked method used in this recipe creates an incredible texture similar to salmon lox. This vegan smoked salmon recipe will definitely liven up your brunch plans!
How to Make Smoked Carrot Lox
Smoked carrot lox is made by salt-baking whole, unpeeled carrots in a 375-degree oven for an hour and a half. During this time, the salt hardens and creates a shell around the carrots, locking in moisture and promoting even cooking. When the bake time is complete, the carrots will have a soft, silky texture. The salt does not act as a seasoning here—think of it as more of a cooking vessel!
Once you’ve salt-baked your carrots, you have a couple of more steps to go. Hang in there. It’s sooooo worth it. Let them cool, then crack away all of the salt, brushing it off as best you can with your hands. Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler (it’s tedious but, again, worth it!), then slice very thinly, like salmon lox.
How to Make the Marinade
This marinade has three ingredients: olive oil, liquid smoke and an acid. I use coconut vinegar because it has a slight buttery undertone, but apple cider vinegar works as well. Place the sliced carrots into the marinade for at least two days (I know!) but it’s worth the wait. During this time, the acid gently cooks the carrots, the liquid smoke infuses into the carrots then mellows, while the olive oil adds to its soft and silky texture.
This method isn’t difficult. It just takes time, which is mostly passive. After a few days, you’ll have a big batch of vegan lox that you can pile onto a bagel and shove into your face or share with friends. This has become my go-to recipe for brunches and I love it for its simplicity. I hope you try it and love it as much as I do!
This Plant-Based Lox is Delicious and Versatile
This carrot lox isn’t just for bagels. I’ve used it in sushi recipes, like this spicy carrot and avocado sushi roll. If you want to skip the bagel, this vegan lox is also great in this Japanese-style breakfast bowl.
How I Developed this Smoked Carrot Lox Recipe
Salmon lox was one of those things that I used to eat a lot of as a pescetarian and think, “nope, never going to stop” as I piled it over a bagel smothered in cream cheese and topped with red onion and capers. I loved seeing pieces of if drenched in cream-based sauces over pasta, and dug into boxes of it during the holidays. Whenever I went to a deli, I always ordered a salmon lox bagel. The smoke, the salt, the texture—everything about it just worked.
But when I went vegan, I was content with simply slathering vegan cream cheese onto a bagel and topping with red onion and capers instead.
Following the same slow, salt-roasting technique I recently did with golden beets, I used carrots to see what would happen. I found that a vegan version of lox was easy to recreate, although it took a few tries. After making several test batches, I discovered that the secret to getting that lox-y quality is to marinate the carrots for two or three days after salt-baking them. They develop an impossibly soft and velvety texture during this time, and the smoke flavor mellows to a perfect level.
Can I Reuse the Salt After Baking the Carrots?
Absolutely! Just discard any really hard pieces and break up the rest. Store in a airtight container and use again for your next batch.
More Recipes that Use this Vegan Smoked Salmon!
Hungry for more recipes that use this plant-based lox? These recipes are great for brunch and beyond.
- These Carrot Lox Crackers are great for entertaining! I used this vegan carrot salmon on crackers, but you can also use serve on toasted baguettes with cream cheese and herbs or microgreens!
- This Vegan Lox is also perfect for bagels. The best part about this carrot salmon lox is a batch of it makes several servings, making it a great idea for a crowd, or for yourself throughout the week!
- I love this Spicy Carrot Lox Sushi! This vegan sushi has a little kick of heat from sriracha and a rich creaminess from avocado. Check out my sushi rolling tutorial here … it’s so easy and fun!
- This Japanese-Style Breakfast Bowl is a great dish for using up leftover rice. The smokiness of the vegan carrot salmon, the cold rice, seaweed and furikake work so well together!
- Making this Carrot Lox-Stuffed Ravioli is a labor of love, but so fun if you want to spend some time making ravioli and fill it in a unique way. The vegan lemon ricotta and dill are so nice!
- Total Time: 1 hours 45 minutes
- Yield: 1 1/2 cups
- Diet: Vegan
This carrot lox recipe is perfect for breakfast or brunch. Pile this plant-based lox onto a toasted bagel and enjoy! Use this smoked carrot lox in place of salmon-based lox for a vegan seafood option. Use this salt-baking method to develop a silky texture and create this three-ingredient marinade to soften and infuse a smoky flavor into the carrots.
for the smoked carrot lox
- 2 cups coarse sea salt, plus more if needed
- 3 large carrots (do not peel them)
- 1 TB olive oil*
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut vinegar
- toasted bagels
- vegan cream cheese
- minced red onion
- fresh dill
- Preheat oven to 375.
- To salt bake the carrots, place one cup of coarse sea salt into a glass pyrex that offers just enough room to accommodate the length and width of the carrots so you can keep them whole. Rinse the unpeeled carrots and place them wet into the salt, making sure that the carrots are nestled in the salt and do not make contact with the bottom of the pyrex. Pour about another whole cup of salt evenly over the tops, adding a bit more as needed to ensure they are fully covered in salt.
- Place into the oven to roast, uncovered, for an hour and a half.
- Once done, tip the pyrex over onto a baking sheet and allow the carrots to cool just enough that you can handle them. Crack away and brush off any salt, then peel away the skin. It’s fine if there is still some skin left on the carrot. Then, using a mandolin or sharp knife, finely chop the carrots into jagged, thin strips. Place into a clean glass container.
- To marinate the carrots, whisk together the olive oil, liquid smoke and coconut vinegar. (If you have a little more or little less than 1 1/2 cups carrot, just add a little more or less of the liquid components as needed.)
- Drizzle over the warm carrots and toss well to coat. At this point, the flavor will not taste very “lox like”—they will need to be placed in the refrigerator for at least two days to allow the flavor to deepen and mellow, and for the carrots to get really soft and silky.
- *If the carrots start to look dry during marinating time, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil and give it a good stir. (You want the carrots to look soft and slightly shiny throughout the marinating time.)
- When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and allow the carrots to come to room temperature, then serve with toasted bagels, capers, vegan cream cheese, red onion and fresh sprigs of dill as desired.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Category: Vegan Seafood
Keywords: vegan lox, vegan smoked salmon, vegan carrot lox, smoked carrot lox, carrot lox vegan, carrot salmon lox, plant-based lox, vegan lox
Hi! would this still work without marinating in the fridge for 2 days? i’m excited to try this out tonight to make vegan sushi and my brain missed the 2 days part haha.
Hi Adina, the marinating portion is critical for taste and texture, so I’m afraid the carrots won’t be very good just salt roasted!
Excellent flavor, texture. A great substitute from a MOT who misses lox, tomato, capers and a shmeer at a weekend brunch with family. I followed the recipe and found I could fit 4 very large carrots into a small glass (2.2 qt/2L) Pyrex dish. Could not find Coconut vinegar after a thorough hunt so substituted Bragg’s cider vinegar. The 4 large carrots just meant I needed a bit more marinade and I increased the amount slightly. I also added some small Nori sheets about 1×3 inches to the marinade for a more authentic lox flavor. It seemed to work well, but I may adjust this in future batches as the Dried Nori soaked up a lot of the marinade. Maybe a seaweed powder would work in a cheese cloth? Peeling was not too much of an issue. I “cracked” off the salt and then placed a vertical slit down the center of each carrot. As another person commented, this made it easy to peel off the skin in a “peeling tree bark” fashion. After that, slicing by hand worked the best. My mini-Mandolin did not work well and I did not want to waste any precious carrot “lox”. I made homemade vegan bagels (tasted like real bagels, appropriate size, the right chew, and not just like circular bread with a hole in the middle) and put a shmeer of Kitehill vegan cream cheese on the bagel, carrot “lox”, a generous sliced tomato and capers (I don’t tolerate raw onions well). Thoroughly satisfied my lox craving all while being vegan-friendly, much healthier, lower fat, and plant based. A definite win. Thank you.
So happy you enjoyed, thanks for your feedback … homemade bagels sound delicious too!
Absolutely amazing! We’re not vegan but enjoy incorporating more veggies wherever possible, and this recipe is spot on. My skeptical husband and skeptical father both kept saying how good it was. It was also suitable for my AIP mom (she could eat everything except the bagel and cream cheese). Thank you for figuring this out and sharing. Will definitely be making more!
Kelly, I love to hear that! 🙂
Help! I used the biggest carrots I could get. I made sure they were covered in the salt and baked them for the hour and a half. The salt became hard as a rock and totally encased the carrots. I had to hammer on the salt to get the carrots out, damaging many of them. They were about half of their original size. The salt was browned in places. Once I got the carrots out, it was impossible to remove the peels with out breaking the carrots into pieces and slicing them on the mandolin was out of the question. I had to slice with a knife. They are now marinating. Any help would be appreciated. Can’t wait to taste them. Still really hopeful the flavor will be good.
Marta, that’s normal for the salt to get hard in some spots, and even get browned in some places. I’ve broken the carrots as well, but it’s fine! It will still be delicious after marinating for a couple days, as long as your slices are thin. I hope you enjoy!
So glad to know what I experience was correct. Just ate my first bagel with cream cheese, capers, sliced red onion and the carrots! Absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to make more. Is it a problem if you put more carrots in the same pan? Can they touch?
Thank you so much for this is awesome recipe. Can’t wait to use these carrots in other ways.
I wonder if this could be made on a rock salt sheet instead of a Pyrex with salt.