carrot lox and tofu

One of my favorite things about being a vegan is new discoveries. Particularly when I learn a new way to create a vegan version of something I once loved as a meat eater.

My latest discovery is truly one of the most exciting — vegan lox! And what they are made from is truly mind-blowing …carrot!

Carrot??  Yes. How can carrots taste like lox? Well, honestly, even though I now know how, I still find it a little hard to believe. And it’s so easy, it’s just crazy. This recipe gives such flavorful umami – a strong, meaty taste. The texture is velvety and luscious along with a satisfying oiliness that is lox-like and filling.

It’s a revelation!
asian carrots

If you want nice, wide slices, make a trip to your local Asian market. There you may find these extra large carrots. See mine? That dinky one on the left is a typical carrot from my grocery store for comparison.

Once the carrots are roasted and ready for slicing, these huge ones make the job a lot easier.

Otherwise, if you can’t get the big ones, you can either slice straight or try to filet them around the sides.

carrots for lox

Here’s a plate of my sliced carrots before I put them in the marinade.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups coarse sea/rock/kosher salt (for small carrots, double it for larger ones)
  • 3 large carrots (do not peel them)
  • 1 TB olive oil*
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut vinegar ( I found this in my grocery store in the ‘health’ section. If you can’t find it, try rice vinegar)
  • 1 tsp kelp powder or dried seaweed (ground)
Tools
  • Glass pyrex dish
  • sharp paring or filet knife
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Slow roast the carrots  |  Place one cup of coarse  salt into a glass pyrex to cover bottom. Rinse the unpeeled carrots and place them wet into the salt. Make sure that the carrots do not touch the bottom of the dish. Pour more salt over the carrots until they are fully covered in salt. For the large ones this can take a lot.
  3. Roast in oven 1.5hrs (2hrs for large), uncovered.
  4. Once done. Allow the carrots to cool just enough that you can handle them (20-30min). Crack away the salt, then peel away the carrot skin. With a sharp knife, finely chop the carrots into thin strips. Place into a clean glass container.
The Marinade
  1. Whisk together the olive oil, liquid smoke, coconut vinegar and kelp or seaweed powder if you have it. The latter can be hard to find. I buy dried seaweed at the Asian market and grind it into powder. Make more marinade as needed.
  2. Drizzle marinade over the carrots. I use a kitchen brush to evenly coat each one. Cover dish with plastic wrap and place refrigerator for at least 2 days to allow the flavor to deepen and mellow, and for the carrots to get really soft and silky. I’ve kept some in the fridge for a week and they just taste better and better.

Eat and enjoy!  My favorite way is on a vegan bagel with vegan cream cheese and avocado. Insanely delicious!

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