If you've always loved smoked salmon, but you're looking for a kinder, planet-friendly, plant-based version, this vegan smoked salmon recipe made with carrots ticks all the boxes. It tastes like the sea and has the subtle smokey flavour and tender texture that classic smoked salmon has. As the carrots are soaked in a briney solution, it turns out just like that classic way of preparing salmon, Lox. In fact, I often refer to it as Carrot Lox, rather than vegan smoked salmon.
I adore this vegan lox served with vegan cream cheese. Together they make a great canape, either on a blini or cracker, or of course, for delicious a lunch or breakfast in a bagel.
Smoked salmon (in Scandanavia called Gravadlax) and Lox (a brined kind of salmon that may or may not be smoked) is a very popular in many for Christmas and New Years festivities, on sandwiches and as a snack. This recipe recreates that smokey, salty flavour so vegetarians and vegans can enjoy it too. (oh, and it's super cheap to make, as it's made with the humble carrot!)
⭐Why you'll love this recipe
- It uses lots of easy-to-find ingredients that you combine to make a little bit of vegan magic. Carrots marinated in smokey briney flavours somehow turn into a delicious smoked salmon analogue! Who knew?!
- You can eat it as part of a canape, either on a blini, a cracker or even on my scrummy parsnip latkes.
- If you wanted to be fancy, you could blend some up with our fave easy-to make vegan cream cheese, for a vegan smoked salmon dip. Or just have it on top of our parsnip latkes as we've shown in the photos.
These are the key ingredients for this vegan smoked salmon.
- Carrot: The humble carrot simply gets finely sliced, then gently simmered to soften, ready to absorb the salty, smokey flavour.
- Nori Seaweed: to marinate the carrots and create an authentic seaside fish flavor, I use seaweed in the form of nori flakes. I love using these nori flakes. Nori is the seaweed wrap you see around sushi, so if you can't find the flakes, you can use a crushed-up piece of nori wrap instead.
- Smokey Flavour: You get this from the Smoked Paprika and Liquid Smoke (not shown above) which give a classic smoke-house flavour.
- Dill: classic smoked salmon dishes often include dill, so we use it here to create a flavour memory that pairs perfectly with the smokey flavours.
- Lemon Juice- Fresh lemon juice creates freshness and a nice acidic balance.
- Flakey Sea Salt: Classic smoked salmon is quite salty, so some good quality sea salt is essential. I like Maldon sea salt, but you can use Kosher Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt if you prefer. I also like to add a little soy sauce or liquid aminos for extra umami oomph.
Here's how to make this vegan smoked salmon carrot lox.
1 Using a vegetable peeler slice the carrots into long thin pieces.
2 Bring some water to the boil and boil the carrot slices for 5-7 minutes until slightly tender. Drain, refresh in cold water, then drain the cold water off.
3 Finely chop the dill and juice the lemon.
4 Combine all the marinade ingredients in a tupperware or lidded container
5 Add the carrot slices to the marinade, and gently mix to cover.
6 Allow the carrots to marinate in the briney smokey liquid for at least three hours, or overnight. To serve, rinse the carrot lox a little to remove the marinade. Serve on crackers, blini or bagels.
Make sure to gently rinse the smokey marinade off the carrot before using. It's very strongly flavoured and intended to infuse the carrot with flavour, rather than being eaten itself!
The smoked carrot salmon will keep for up to a week in the fridge. It doesn't freeze well, as the texture changes when thawed.
Thrifty Hint: I have been known to make extra carrots and add to the marinade after a day when I realised I needed more smoked salmon and didn't want to make up more marinade.
For at least 2-3 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
The marinade is very strongly flavoured! Once you have infused the carrot with it, it gets rinsed off, otherwise it would not be so nice to eat.
It lasts up to a week in the fridge.
Liquid smoke comes in little bottles. We like Stubbs Liquid Smoke.
Nori is the same seaweed that you find around your sushi! You can buy it in flakes, or crumble up a sushi sheet. We use these flakes.
This is a healthy recipe for vegan smoked salmon as it is just made from marinated carrots and the marinade is mostly rinsed off.
This recipe is gluten free unless you use soy sauce that contains gluten to make the marinade. If you need this recipe to be totally gluten free, choose coconut aminos or a gluten free soy sauce.
This recipe was developed by Vanessa, one of the original co-founders of this site. Vanessa is now working on her plant based health coaching business, Energise and Thrive Plant Based. She helps people get high energy, great health, and balanced eating with delicious plant-based food.
She’s also brought out her FREE Guide - 5 Steps to Balanced Plant Based Eating which you’re welcome to download. Of course, all the recipes she has created for The Vegan Larder (like this one!) will remain here for you to access.
There are so many fun ways you can serve up this vegan "smoked salmon" carrot lox.
- On our parsnip latkes: 4 Ingredient Vegan Parsnip & Potato Latkes
- Instead of the tofu in these sandwiches Scandi Inspired Smoked Tofu Sandwich
- Mixed through our favourite easy to make vegan cashew cream cheese. Or just top the cream cheese with the vegan salmon!
If you loved this vegan fish recipe, then you'll love our 30 Best Vegan Fish and Vegan Seafood Recipes.
Vegan Smoked Salmon Carrot Lox
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 250 g (4-5 cups) whole carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
- 1 tablespoon salt
for the marinade
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon nori seaweed flakes (roughly 1 nori sheet crushed up)
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
- 2¼ tablespoon boiling water
- Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline slicer, cut the carrots into thin strips.
- Boil carrot strips for 10 minutes with the salt. You want them to be just a bit soft.
- Once done, drain the carrots and let them cool down a little. You can run them under cold water to speed up the process.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together in an airtight container
- Add the carrot strips to the marinade and leave at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
- When ready to eat, rinse most of the marinade off the carrot (use a colander).
- Enjoy on a sandwich or to top a canape.