I became vegetarian when I was 11. Prior to that, I wasn’t particularly adventurous with my food, and I really didn’t like fish, so there’s a lot of different things that I simply have never tried before. Smoked salmon is one of them.
Now that I’m vegan I really love to try fake versions of animal products. I love to see what’s possible and how realistic you can make things. I’d seen carrot lox floating around online, but smoked salmon made from carrot just seemed really unappetising.
One day we did give it a go, and it’s actually amazing. Since then we’ve experimented a few times to make it taste as realistic as possible and we’ve got it cracked.
I’m well aware that carrot seems really odd. But by cooking it in the salt and then marinating it overnight, it ends up with a super soft texture, similar to salmon, and you completely loose the carrot taste. Don’t be put off by how it sounds, because it’s honesty amazing. We had this at brunch once and everyone agreed it tasted pretty much identical to the real thing. My mum, who is a new vegan, and who used to love smoked salmon, absolutely loved it.
We’ve added in an extra step to the end of this recipe to smoke it. Sam has a cold smoker, which allows us to smoke food to give it a super smokey flavour, and it really elevates the whole thing. I appreciate this isn’t something most people have lying around the house, so it’s still great without it. I would recommend that you invest in one at some point though, you can smoke so many things and it improves the flavour so much. They’re relatively cheap on Amazon too.
So give these a go and let us know how you get on. We served these at brunch the other weekend with our homemade poppy seed bagels and vegan cream cheese. Delish!
Vegan Smoked Salmon
An easy vegan smoked salmon substitute, that tastes great on bagels with vegan cream cheese
- 4 large carrots
- 1500g table salt (don't be put off by the salt, it's part of the cooking process)
- 8g wakame, soaked
- 25ml sundried tomato oil (from a jar of sundried tomatoes)
- 50ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 15ml apple cider vinegar
- 10ml soy sauce
- 10ml liquid smoke (do not include if smoking yourself)
- To serve
- 4 bagels
- Vegan cream cheese
- Step 1 Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees fan
- Step 2 In a large oven-proof dish, cover the bottom with salt so you can’t see the bottom
- Step 3 Wet your 4 carrots under a tap then place on top of the salt – make sure they’re not touching any of the dish
- Step 4 Next, completely cover with the remaining salt so that you can’t see any of the carrots
- Step 5 Place in the oven for 1 hour 40 minutes
- Step 6 Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool
- Step 7 Once cool enough to touch, break open the salt and remove the carrots (you can keep the salt and re-use again)
- Step 8 Now gently peel the carrots. It’s easiest to do this with your hands, and the skin should scrape straight off. It’s a bit fiddly, so take your time and be gentle, so you don’t break the carrots
- Step 9 Once peeled, use a mandelin or cheese slice to carefully shred the carrots into long thin pieces. Try to get them as thin as you can
- Step 10 Place the carrots into a zip-lock bag
- Step 11 Add the rest of your ingredients to the bag with the carrots
- Step 12 the sundried tomato oil, wakame, extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and liquid smoke (if using). Gently mix with your hands then set aside.
- Step 13 Leave aside to marinate for at least 8 hours, ideally overnight
- Step 14 Option: Once the carrots have finished marinating, smoke them over a cold smoker to add extra flavour
- Step 15 They’re ready to use! Place onto bagels smothered in vegan cream-cheese and finish with fresh dill
- Step 16 Serve!