When we first made carrot lox many years ago, we were blown away by the taste and texture. With just a few ingredients, cooked carrot strips can actually be transformed into an authentic plant based salmon. The smoky taste (liquid smoke), the fishy aroma (nori algae) and some fat are important for this.
Even today we still love this deceptively real, but super cheap, vegan smoked salmon version. After lots of attempts, it was finally time for our own recipe. On the one hand, in order to not have to think over and over again how exactly we are going to make the vegan smoked salmon. On the other hand, because we naturally want to share our preparation method with our loyal readers.
Because the best-known recipes on the net are actually too cumbersome for us personally or too fluctuating in the result. To be honest, we don’t want to cook the carrots on a bed of salt in the oven. The much simpler method is to boil the carrot strips in water. But catching the right time to get the carrots out of the water is about as difficult as picking a fully ripe avocado that has no muddy spots. It feels like there are exactly 2 seconds between “the carrot strips are still too firm” and “help, they break up into small pieces”.
Fortunately, this is a little bit different with steaming. The more gentle method of preparation makes it much easier to hit the right cooking point. In fact, it becomes almost impossible to completely overcook the carrots. Unless you totally forget that you put them on the stove at all. 😉 Steaming takes a few minutes longer than cooking in boiling water, but it is worthwhile for an optimal result.
Incidentally, we don’t own a steaming pot or steamer basket ourselves. Instead, we simply hang a metal strainer in a saucepan to steam. The pot is then filled one or two fingers wide with water, which is then boiled. Then we turn down the temperature so that the water is no longer at a rolling boil. Now the food (here the carrot strips) is put into the sieve and is steamed with the lid on top.
Thanks to linseed oil (and rapeseed oil), our vegan salmon, just like the fish, contains essential omega-3 fatty acids that our body needs but cannot produce itself. Sufficient intake of omega-3s can also be critical in a vegan diet, as we usually consume too many omega-6 fatty acids in proportion.
Carrot Lox - Vegan Smoked Salmon
- 400 g carrots
- 1 sheet nori seaweed, or 3 tbsp seaweed flakes
- 2 tbsp neutral vegetable oil, e.g. rapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp flax seed oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- 2 tbsp dill, chopped
- Peel the carrots and slice lengthways into very thin strips with a peeler or vegetable slicer.
- Steam the carrot strips until they are very soft. For how long depends on the size of the pieces and the way of steaming. For a rough orientation: approx. 20-45 minutes. Just check the carrots every now and then. If you don't have a steamer: you can simply put some water in a saucepan and hang the carrots in a sieve over it in the saucepan. Then set the temperature so that the water just isn’t at a rolling boil anymore and steam with the lid closed.
- Finely chop the nori seaweed, preferably with a food processor. Mix all ingredients for the marinade. Put together with the still warm carrot strips in a sealable container. Let it soak in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Shake it up every now and then.
Song of the recipe:
Sammy the Salmon does the salmon dance and even teaches us a few things about the life of salmons while doing so. The music video of the Chemical Brothers classic from the year 2007 is also highly recommended .