Tasty Tuesday : Vegan Smoked Salmon

One of my favorite foods before going vegan was a smoked salmon bagel.  I got them as a special treat about once a month from Brueggers, or I splurged at the grocery store to get the ingredients and make them for myself at home.  The combination of cream cheese, smoked salmon, dill and capers was so delicious and filling that it made a perfect breakfast for me!  It was one of those foods that I've been missing a lot lately, so I was really excited and intrigued to read about homemade vegan versions.  I had to try it right away!

I found two different versions- one using carrots and one using tomatoes.  They both have completely different methods, but similar marinades.  I tested them both out in two recipes- in a classic lox bagel, and in a sushi bowl (recipes below).  Keep reading to find out what I thought!

Version 1- Tomato

This is what I consider the quick and easy version.  To prepare the tomato, boil it for a few minutes in water until the skin begins to peel, shock it in ice water, peel off the skin, and slice into small pieces (getting rid of the seeds).  The marinade called for kelp powder, which I found at Whole Foods, along with tamari, olive oil, water, and liquid smoke.  All of these flavors combine made the tomato have a smoky and slightly fishy taste.  All in all, this recipe took about 10 minutes to prep and was really simple.

The tomatoes only had to marinade for a few hours, but I let them sit overnight.  In the morning, I prepared a bagel and my sushi bowl.  I have to admit that I was pretty impressed by how much this looked like smoked salmon, but I had way too much marinade.  Next time I make this I'll definitely cut down the marinade in half.

The taste of this was great. I won't lie and say that it tasted exactly like smoked salmon, but it had a similar taste and texture.  The bagel was much better than the bowl since there were so many flavors going on and it was delicious!

Version 2- Carrot

The second version was definitely more difficult and time consuming, but the end product made it worth it!  To cook the carrot, you have to cook it in a salt crust (basically covering it completely in salt and cooking it for a long time at a low temperature).  This made the carrot really soft- almost like slow cooking it.  After that, you just peel the carrot, cut it up, and pour over the marinade.  This version had slightly different ingredients- olive oil, vinegar and liquid smoke.  The recipe was a bit more difficult and hands-on to make, but was still relatively simple.

Instead of only having to marinade for a few hours, this was supposed to sit for at least two days.  Luckily I had the tomato lox to get me through those two days and then I was ready to try this one out!

The texture of this was amazing- the carrot turned creamy and smooth and was the exact texture of smoked salmon.  The marinade didn't have quite the same flavor as the tomato though, so I decided to sprinkle some kelp powder in my sushi bowl.  If I made this version again, I would swap marinades and use the one from the tomato.

All in all, I was really impressed with these recipes!  They weren't exact duplicates of my favorite smoked salmon, but it filled that void and were simple to make, with ingredients I had on hand.  I liked the texture of the carrot lox better, but the marinade for the tomatoes made it taste more like smoked salmon.  I'll definitely be making them again and playing around with the recipe. I'm looking forward to trying these in sushi rolls next!

Now, here are the recipes for the bagel and the sushi bowl.  I hope you enjoy!

Bagels with Vegan Lox
1 bagel (I used 'everything' flavor)
1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese (I used Daiya)
1 serving vegan lox (carrot or tomato)
radish, thinly sliced
onion, thinly sliced

Spread cream cheese on the bottom half of a bagel.  Top with lox, capers, radish, dill and an onion.  Add top of bagel and enjoy!

Sushi Bowl
1/2 cup rice
radish, thinly sliced
cucumber, thinly sliced
1 serving vegan lox (carrot or tomato)
black sesame seeds
avocado, thinly sliced (or guacamole)
seaweed snacks (I find them at Trader Joes)

Smooth rice in bottle of a dish or tupperware.  Layer radish, cucumber, and lox on top.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.  Serve with a side of avocado/guacamole and seaweed snacks.  Enjoy!


  1. OMG so intrigued by this. I LOVE smoked salmon. Definitely trying this out, thanks for the inspo!

  2. Haha! So creative! I had no clue you could mimic salmon! That looks tasty!

  3. Well, as you know, we live in salmon capital over here. I grew up on that stuff. My dad was a fisherman (he can't fish anymore since his stroke) and he had a smoker, so we'd have fresh salmon steaks BBQ-ed, or smoked salmon for days. We'd eat it right out of the tupperware container. I miss that stuff! Dammit.

  4. I've been looking forward to this post- so cool! Will definitely have to try it out ( I love smoked salmon but it is superrr exepensive)

  5. I love these ideas! I'm a vegetarian and I'd never thought of preparing anything like this for myself before.

  6. I've actually been dying to try a vegan lox combo lately! I've seen a couple carrot recipes floating around but never with tomato. This confirms my need to try it!

  7. Say whaaaat! These look like the real deal!

    I don't like smoked salmon but I feel like I would love the carrot version!

    1. I was shocked at how close these look to the real lox!


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