Hold onto your bagels because I am here to tell you: Carrots make a surprisingly delicious plant-based substitute for traditional lox. By cooking carrots and marinating them in a few simple and flavorful ingredients, they become smoky, salty, and bright with acidity. The combination of liquid smoke and toasted seaweed gives the carrots a transformative smoky seafood flavor. Liquid smoke can be found in most grocery stores and is made from actual wood smoke that is condensed into liquid form (and a little goes a long way). You can substitute liquid smoke with good-quality smoked paprika if desired, or omit the liquid smoke entirely for vegan lox that is less smoky. Carrot lox adds a pop of color to any brunch spread, and they pair perfectly with schmear, cucumber, fresh dill, and all the traditional bagel fixings.
- 3 large carrots (about 1 lb)
- Salt, as needed
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsps rice vinegar or white vinegar
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup or agave
- 1 tsp dried dill
- ¾ tsp liquid smoke (or 1 tsp smoked paprika)
- 1 sheet toasted Nori, or 3-4 pieces of seaweed snacks
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season the water generously with salt. Boil the carrots for 10-15 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a small knife.
- Peel the carrots by rubbing off their peels. Using a mandoline, vegetable peeler, or sharp knife, slice the carrots lengthwise into long strips.
- In a large bowl, combine the water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, dried dill, and liquid smoke. Whisk together, then add the nori. Add the carrot strips to the bowl and toss everything together. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight; the carrot lox will last up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.