Vegan bagels and lox, you say? From scratch you say? Why yes, of course; creamy vegan ricotta, smoky carrot lox, and soft home-made bagels make this a perfect lunch!
What can I say but wow - these babies are amazeballs. Really, really amazeballs!
This simple vegan smoked 'salmon' (lox) is made from slow-roasted carrots, marinated in smoky olive oil for a few days to really bring out their sweet and smoky flavour, and smooth texture.
But here's the rub; until last year, I had no idea that there was such a thing as carrot lox - after all, how can you make something from carrots that resembles smoked salmon? Also, I have to admit, that I've never been a fan of smoked salmon anyway. I only ever tried smoked salmon once, and found it barfable.
The flavour was nice but that texture... ugh.
However, I love carrots, and I know that they can be used to make the most amazing not-at-all-carroty-things, such as 'bacon', cake, smoothies, and nacho cheese, so why not not-smoked-salmon?
Bagels, cream cheese, & Lox
Is now a good time for me to confess that I've never actually had a bagel with smoked salmon (lox) and cream cheese? Back in my youth, it was salt beef or nothing.
Also, along with smoked salmon, I've never liked Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese either (which is where the lox and cream cheese bagels come from, so I am told). In my pre-vegan days, as a huge cheese lover, Philly was something I was never fond of. Curd cheese, yes - that particular brand, no.
So why then, did I choose to create a vegan version of something I...
a) had never eaten
b) contained ingredients I have never liked?
Because when I saw this video from Sarah's Vegan Kitchen, I was intrigued. So I checked out the Olives for Dinner recipe that Sarah used, and decided that I was up for the challenge!
Plus, it looks really delish, right?
And here's the good news - it's more than really delish, it's completely and utterly yummy. So much so that amato mio was totally lost for words.
Can't argue with that.
If you like this Vegan Bagels and Lox recipe, you'll love these other veganised favourites!
The Best Vegan Bagels and Lox
- full of Vitamin A and Iron
- non-vegan boyfriend-approved
Whether you were/are a fan of smoked salmon or not, I really would urge you to make these bagels and lox. I'm not saying they are going to pass a blind taste-test (not that I would know, of course) but they honestly more than hold up as a meal in their own right.
What do you like to have in your bagels?
The Best Vegan Bagels and Lox
For the carrot lox:
- 450 g fine sea salt (or koshering salt)
- 3 large carrots washed, topped, and tailed, but not peeled
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 bagels
- 100 g vegan ricotta
- 1 small onion cut into fine rings
- 2 spring onions green parts only, finely-chopped
- Dash sea salt optional
To make the carrot lox:
- Pre-heat your oven to 190°C (375°F).
- Place half of the salt into a loaf tin, and lay the still-wet carrots side by side on top.
- Cover with the remainder of the salt, and bake in the centre of the oven for 90 minutes.
- Once the carrots have been baked, remove the tin from the oven, and tip out onto a large baking tray. The salt should fall away from the carrots.
- Leave to cool until you can handle the carrots, then brush away any remaining salt.
- Remove as much skin as you can from the carrots: I find that the easiest way to do this is to use my thumbnail to break the skin, and then pull away the rest with my fingers. It can be a bit time-consuming but using a knife often results in losing large lumps of carrot flesh too.
- Whisk together the olive oil, liquid smoke, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl large enough to contain the carrots and marinade.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the carrots into thin strips, and then place them into the marinade.
- Using your hands, gently massage the marinade into the carrot strips, ensuring that they're all well-coated. Don't worry if they seem overly greasy at this point, they won't be by the time they're done.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or silicone bowl cover, and leave in the fridge for the next three days to marinate, turning the carrots over with your hands once a day to make sure they don't dry out.
- When ready to eat, remove from the fridge, and bring up to room temperature.
To make bagels and lox:
- Cut each bagel in half, and spread each half with the vegan ricotta.
- Pile the carrot lox over the bottom halves of the bagels, and add the onion rings.
- Sprinkle over some chopped spring onion and a little salt if using, then add the top half of the bagel.
- Nutritional information for this recipe has been calculated on the assumption that around a quarter teaspoon of salt will have been absorbed into the carrots.
- My carrot lox is adapted from Erin's recipe, over at Olives for Dinner.
- I know that the non-vegan version of bagels and lox should have capers and dill but I couldn't find any in my local supermarket, hence not using them! By all means add them if you want to though.
- Calories 49
- Total Fat 3 g
- Sodium 178 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 4 g
- Dietary Fiber 1 g
- Sugars 2 g
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tablespoon = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml
I can only find peeled carrots here. Will that mess it up?
To the chocolate carrot comment, maybe grate some carrot real fine. Melt some chocolate, mix, pour into molds. Voila! Maybe... lol.
Might need to cook the carrot a little though, to make sure it's not to crispy...? Hmmm...
Peeled carrots should be fine, Kay! xx
I liked the way you write this recipe in a simple
manner. I am a food lover and blogger. I will definitely try this
recipe for my wife. Hope she will like it on her upcoming birthday.... i am inspired from your blog and started my own regional language recipe blog.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Khana, and I am so happy you've been inspired to start your own blog. Your wife is a fortunate woman to have you make delicious food for her! xx
Can you do this without the liquid smoke?
Not really - they need to be smoky, or else they won't taste like smoked salmon. xx
I left the recipe at home and bought smoked sea salt by mistake instead of liquid smoke. I opened the bag before I realized my mistake. Can I substitute it in the recipe?
To be honest, Gisele, I wouldn't as it will make the lox far too salty. xx
This seems like so much salt! I’m making it now but I’m wondering why the salt needs to be piled on so much!
I feel I could have used a 1/2 cup for the baking part instead of the full 2 cups.... help me understand!
So excited to try the finished product on Sunday ♥️
The salt, as well as sucking out a load of moisture from the carrots, tenderises them too. It also insulates the carrots, which means they cook evenly, so yes, you really do need that much! But very little actually goes into the carrots, and they are far from salty once they're cooked. Really hope you enjoy the 'lox' at the weekend - do let me know what you think of it! xx
how long will this keep after the 3 days waiting, please
Hi Sue! To be honest, I've never tested it out because we always eat the lox as soon as it's ready... however, I suspect it would be fine for 2-3 days, as long as it's in an airtight container, or kept in the marinade. Any longer, and I think it might get a bit soggy. Enjoy! xx
Can these be frozen/thawed t a later date? I made waaaaaaay too much (being the only vegan in my household)
I'm so sorry for the delay in replying to you (I found your comment in the spam folder - how rude!). I haven't tried freezing the lox - did you? If so, have you defrosted it? How did it turn out? xx
Midge @ Peachicks' Bakery
Ooooh I HAVE to try this! Hubby is allergic to salmon but used to love smoked salmon & I really really don't like the texture of it so this would be perfect!
Sounds absolutely perfect for you both, then - do let me know how you get on with it! xx
Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie
You are such a clever lady, Nico...I would never have though of using carrots as a vegan smoked salmon sub...is there anything you can't make with carrots??? Eb x
Aww, thank you, Eb! I haven't yet found a way to make chocolate from carrots! Ha ha! xx
I love the sound of those carrots in these bagels. I'd love to try them and yes, they do look very similar to smoked salmon at first glance. I actually hated smoked salmon when I was younger because of the texture too although I do like it now. Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!
Thank you, Corina - I hope you get to make them! xx
Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food
My EYES are hungry after ogling your photos! Making lox from slow-roasted carrots is super-genius. I can't wait to try this recipe—I'm not a fan of Philly cream cheese either, so I'm stoked to test-drive your vegan ricotta.
I hope you love it all as much as we do, Michelle! xx
For a second you had me confused - the carrots really look like smoked salmon! This is a vegan recipe with a wow factor, such a good idea and these carrots must be delicious! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare:)
You're not the first person to say that, Monika... and I hope you won't be the last! xx
I make this regularly and it is delicious, I never liked smoked salmon so this apart from the texture is great
Yeah, I've never understood why people like smoked salmon so much; as I said in the post, great taste, horrible texture! Carrots FTW though! xx
sounds amazing, I think I should give this lox a try!
Oh yes, please do, Claudia - it's so easy to make but so rewarding. Especially on home-made bagels! xx
I love cream cheese and lox on a bagel, with onion, lettuce and tomato. Since becoming vegan four years ago, it's the one dish I really missed. So I tried carrot lox. Three days later I sat down to cream cheese and "lox" on a bagel. My first bite: OMG! My eyes closed, I sighed, I was kvelling! (Translation: in heaven.) It is so very close to the real thing (make sure your slices are very thin), I couldn't believe it. Well worth the three day wait, for those lox loving vegans like myself. Next, scrambled tofu and lox (another Jewish breakfast classic). .
It's really interesting finding out which things people miss when they become vegan - for me, it was really good sausages and halloumi. Not necessarily together, although thinking about it, that's not a bad idea! The sausages I've mastered, the halloumi... not a chance. Yet!
I'm so happy you loved the lox! I've never even thought about scrambled tofu and lox but I'm going to give it a go. Thanks for the suggestion, Lucy! xx
This recipe is amazing! I've been trying recipes for vegan smoked salmon, and this is by far the best in taste and texture. Carrots are my new bff!
I'm really glad you like it, and that you took the time to comment. Thanks so much, Alex! xx
Well, you had me hooked at bagels! 🙂 They're one of my weaknesses! And I've been looking for a vegan bagel and lox recipe for a while! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
It's my pleasure, Elinor - I'm sure you'll love the bagels and lox! xx
Very interesting recipe. The colour of your carrots is really red and could be taken for salmon. First time I am reading about carrot lox and have spend time on the net reading about it. Learnt something new!!
I've actually never seen salmon that red before, Mina - it's always been a much paler orange colour. Maybe it's dyed in some places, though!
So glad to have furthered your culinary education... I hope you enjoy the lox! xx
Emily | Oat&Sesame
This would definitely get me to eat a bagel and lox!
It totally worked for me, Emily! LOL! xx