This vegan smoked salmon lox is so velvety and soft! It’s made from carrots that have been salt-baked to create a very unique texture, then bathed in a smoky marinade for a couple of days. It’s perfect on a toasted bagel piled high with vegan cream cheese, capers and red onion. Drape it over toasted crostini, crackers or on puff pastry. This carrot lox is great for a lazy brunch or in a fancy appetizer!
Back in 2015, I created this vegan carrot lox recipe. Since then, I’ve tweaked and made it tons of times. This vegan lox makes a great breakfast, brunch or a late-night bite! It won’t really fool anyone into thinking it’s actual salmon lox, and that’s not really the intent. It’s delicious on its own and a playful way to use carrots.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Discover the charm of this vegan carrot lox recipe, a simple twist on a classic! This recipe promises to bring a fresh and innovative touch to your next breakfast or brunch, showcasing how versatile and satisfying vegetables can be.
Surprisingly Simple: Despite its impressive outcome, this carrot lox recipe is straightforward to make. The process involves basic kitchen skills and easily accessible ingredients, making it a breeze for both novice cooks and seasoned kitchen enthusiasts.
Versatility at Its Best: Whether you’re whipping up a brunch, packing a lunch, or preparing a snack, this carrot lox fits the bill. It’s a chameleon in the kitchen, effortlessly sliding into various roles – from a bagel topping to a vegan sushi star.
Conversation Starter: This recipe is not just food; it’s a topic of conversation. Serving carrot lox is bound to pique interest and admiration from your guests, making you the trendsetter in your food circle.
Plant-Based Pioneer: For those who eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, this recipe is a gem. It’s a testament to how plant-based alternatives can be just as satisfying, if not more, than their animal-based counterparts.
Budget-Friendly: Let’s face it – smoked salmon can be pricey. Carrot lox, on the other hand, uses humble, affordable carrots, making it kind on your wallet without skimping on flavor.
How To Make Vegan Smoked Salmon Lox
This carrot lox recipe involves salt-baking, peeling and marinating carrots. The baking and marinating involves almost no active time, but requires some patience. The peeling is a bit tedious, but once you get the hang of it, it goes quicker each time!
How To Serve
This lox is perfect on toasted bagels with vegan cream cheese and all the fixings. You can also use it in this Japanese-Style Breakfast Bowl, Carrot Lox and Avocado Sushi, Carrot Lox-Stuffed and Fried Ravioli, and Spicy Carrot Lox and Avocado Sushi. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving for best results!
Salt Roasting vs. Salt Baking
I use “baking” here instead of “roasting” because roasting takes place at temps 400 degrees and above. Salt-baking is a technique that involves packing salt around ingredient (in this case, rinsed, whole, unpeeled carrots) completely with salt. They are then baked for an hour and a half in a 375-degree oven, which creates a hard shell around each carrot. The salt holds moisture in during the baking process which helps cook the carrots evenly and creates a firm yet tender texture.
Will These Carrots Get Salty During the Bake Time?
No. Because the carrots are baked unpeeled, the salt does not actually penetrate through to the carrots. The salt is not a seasoning here … it’s more of a cooking vessel! Once the bake time is complete and the carrots have been removed from the salt, simply brush it away, then peel them. It’s a little bit tedious, but totally worth the effort to make the perfect salmon lox!
How To Make The Marinade
Once the carrots are peeled and cut as thinly as possible, they go into a marinade for a few days. The marinade is made by whisking olive oil, liquid smoke and an acid (like apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar). The acid gently cooks the carrot lox, while the liquid smoke infuses it with a smoky flavor and the olive oil adds to its silky texture.
How To Store
Once transferred to the marinade, the vegan lox will last about five days. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Initial Cooling: After roasting and marinating the carrot strips, ensure they have cooled down to room temperature. This prevents condensation inside the storage container, which can affect the texture and flavor.
Airtight Container: Transfer the marinated carrot lox into a clean, airtight glass container. Glass is preferable as it doesn’t absorb flavors and is easy to clean, ensuring the taste of your carrot lox remains unaltered.
Refrigeration: Place the airtight container in the refrigerator. The cold environment is essential for both preserving the carrot lox and allowing the flavors to deepen and meld over time.
Marinating Time: For optimal flavor development, the carrot lox should be stored in the refrigerator for at least two days. This period allows the marinade to infuse thoroughly into the carrots, creating a richer, more complex flavor profile.
Monitoring Moisture: If you notice the carrots becoming dry during their time in the refrigerator, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil and stir well. The goal is to maintain a soft, slightly shiny appearance of the carrot strips throughout the storage period.
Serving Preparation: When you are ready to serve the carrot lox, remove the container from the refrigerator and let it sit until it reaches room temperature. This enhances the texture and flavor, making it more enjoyable to eat.
Shelf Life: Properly stored, the vegan carrot lox can last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Smoked Carrot Lox FAQs
Carrot lox is a vegan alternative to traditional smoked salmon, made by slow-roasting carrots and then thinly slicing them to resemble salmon lox. The slices are marinated in a blend of olive oil, liquid smoke, and vinegar, creating a smoky, tangy flavor. This plant-based option is popular in various dishes, such as on bagels with cream cheese or in sushi rolls, appealing to those seeking creative, vegan- and vegetarian-friendly cuisine.
Carrot lox mimics the texture and smokiness of traditional smoked salmon, but with a unique, slightly sweeter undertone due to the natural flavor of carrots. The addition of ingredients like liquid smoke, olive oil, and vinegar helps to replicate the smoky and tangy profile of salmon lox, though it’s important to note that while similar in presentation, carrot lox has its distinct vegetable-based taste.
Yes, carrot lox is an excellent option for a variety of dietary needs. It is vegan, making it suitable for those following a plant-based diet. It’s also free from common allergens like seafood, dairy, and nuts, which is beneficial for people with food allergies. However, those with specific dietary restrictions should always check the ingredients list
Carrot lox is ideal for making in advance. Once prepared and marinated, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This makes it a convenient option for meal prep or for having a flavorful, ready-to-use ingredient on hand. The flavor of the carrot lox tends to deepen and improve over time, so making it in advance can actually enhance its taste.
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This is the BEST vegan smoked salmon lox recipe! Serve with vegan cream cheese on toasted bagels with capers, mandolined red onion and fresh dill. This carrot lox is easy to make and super versatile!
- 2 cups coarse sea salt, plus more if needed
- 3 large or 5 medium-sized carrots (do not peel them)
- 1 TB olive oil*
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut vinegar (or sub with apple cider vinegar)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- To slow roast 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 in a glass container. (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.
Once placed into the marinade, this carrot lox will last up to a week in the refrigerator.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Category: Breakfast, Brunch
- Method: Salt Baked, Marinated
- Cuisine: Jewish
Keywords: vegan lox, carrot lox, carrot lox recipe, vegan smoked salmon