Say whaaat? Lox made from carrots? Oh yes, sweet reader. Vegan carrot lox is all the rage in the plant-based world. And even omnivores can jump on this bandwagon!
It’s salty. It’s smoky. This lox is incredibly flavorful. And it’s perfect on a vegan bagel sandwich with your favorite vegan cream cheese (or homemade cashew cream cheese). Top it off with tomato, finely shredded red onion, cucumber sliced, and capers, and you’re ready for the perfect breakfast.
Lox is a bright pinky-orange salmon filet that’s been preserved through a process of brining. It’s typically served on bagels with cream cheese and other accouterments.
Bagels with lox has become a traditional staple of Jewish cuisine and you’ll often find it at Jewish brunches, after-Temple gatherings, Jewish diners, and beyond.
Speaking of which, fun fact. Did you know the word “lox” comes from the Yiddish word for “salmon?” (Yiddish: לאַקס). Okay, okay, I’m done with my spiel. Get in the kitchen and whip this up with chutzpah, you mentsh!
This recipe is perfect for an easy buffet-style brunch or for breakfast for overnight guests (if you want to be the world’s greatest host). Growing up in a Jewish household, bagels with shmear and carrot lox was the norm for my family brunch occasions.
My family isn’t vegan, but they have been amazed by this recipe and are in awe of what carrots can do in place of salmon.
I recently attended the Compassion In Action conference—a phenomenal event in Oakland with inspirational speakers and a room packed full of compassionate attendees who are working to make the world a kinder place. The event was catered by a new all-vegan meal delivery duo in Oakland called Planted Table. They served up vegan bagels with carrot lox and cashew cream cheese that were to die for.
I loaded up my plate and took about a trillion photos (because if it doesn’t go up on Instagram, did it really happen?) before devouring every last crumb. Before the event was even over I sent a message out to my new friends at Planted Table—co-founders Megan Scott and Chef Lauren Mahlke—asking if they’d like to share their amazing recipe on World of Vegan. To my gleeful surprise, they said yes! So here it is, my friends. The most incredible carrot lox recipe with homemade cashew cream cheese.
Carrots: The heart of this recipe, carrots are transformed into a smoky, savory alternative to traditional salmon. Their natural sweetness and firm texture make them an ideal canvas for soaking up the flavors of the marinade.
Soy Sauce or Tamari: Soy sauce or tamari provides the umami depth that mimics the traditional brininess of lox. It infuses the carrots with a rich, salty flavor while enhancing the overall savory profile.
Liquid Smoke: Liquid smoke adds the signature smokiness that characterizes traditional lox. It imparts a deep, smoldering aroma and flavor to the carrots, replicating the sensation of smoked fish.
Maple Syrup: Maple syrup contributes a delicate sweetness that balances the smoky and salty notes. It not only adds a touch of sweetness but also helps caramelize the carrots during baking, creating a beautiful glaze.
Dill: Dill’s bright, herbaceous aroma and flavor are a classic complement to lox. It infuses the carrots with a refreshing, slightly tangy herbal note, reminiscent of traditional lox’s dill garnish.
Nori Flakes: Nori flakes bring a sea-like brininess and umami depth to the dish, making it feel even more like authentic lox. These seaweed flakes add a hint of oceanic essence, enhancing the overall seafood illusion.
Lemon Juice and Zest: Lemon juice and zest provide a zesty, citrusy punch that brightens the flavors of the carrot lox. The acidity from the lemon balances the richness of the marinade and adds a refreshing contrast.
These star ingredients work in harmony to create a vegan-friendly carrot lox that captures the essence of traditional lox while offering a unique, plant-based twist.
Okay, now you have your plant-based lox. But what about the bagels and the schmear? You can certainly make your own vegan bagels and cream cheese from scratch. But if you’re short on time or just can’t be bothered, explore our Vegan Bagel Guide and you can find store-bought vegan cream cheese brands at most grocery stores and natural foods stores. You can also visit our How to Order Vegan at Einstein Bros Bagels guide!
Megan Scott and Lauren Mahlke are two vegan sisters rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area who want to help people transform their lives through the power of healing food. In wanting the healthiest diet for their families, they decided to take their health into their own hands and evaluate how the food they eat nourishes and empowers them every day.
After transitioning to plant-based eating, their skin cleared up, they shed pounds, and they felt a new level of energy and wellness. If you’re in the Oakland area, you can look forward to dining on Planted Table‘s chef-prepared, delicious, healthy, vegan meals that can be delivered to your home or office.
They are the first zero-waste vegan meal delivery option out there, which is groundbreaking as most meal delivery services leave lots of plastic containers and packaging behind that end up in our landfills. Planted Table takes waste out of the equation by using reusable glass containers that they pick up at the end of each week, wash, and reuse. They’re awesome and ready to help you take the stress out of your family’s meal time.
Recipe by superstar sisters Megan Scott and Lauren Mahlke. Photo of Megan Scoot and Lauren Mahlke by UltraSpective Photography. Recipe shared with permission from The Planted Table.