Soy Free Carrot Lox is the perfect non-fish replacement for smoked salmon. This recipe is a gluten and dairy free version free from top 8 allergens and perfect for breakfast lox-like bagel.
Why We Like This Recipe
Breakfast can be a really tough meal to sort out when there are as many food allergies as there are in our family. Often traditional North American breakfasts are off limits for us. Bagels with smoked salmon or lox are one that we loved. It was not just a breakfast though we often had it as a lunch option or at parties as bite sized canapes.
How we sorted out this recipe
This recipe for soy free carrot lox was more than just replacing a few recipes with other tried and tested substitutions. It was figuring out how to change the main ingredient and make it similar to one we miss and loved. It was a tall task. We started by thinking we cannot be the only people who miss smoked salmon.
It turned out we weren't. When we want to replace our beloved foods that are no longer safe for us with ones that are, especially when they are fish based it really is good to look at what the vegan community is doing to replace this food. Often there are plant based substitutions that can mimic the texture and flavour. A lot of other ingredients are used in the vegan world that are not top 8 free so that is where our experimentation and thinking cap has to come on.
Was there a recipe that influenced us?
We didn’t use one specific recipe or idea as inspiration for this dish. What we did was look to see what plant is being eaten as smoked salmon and then work with flavours we remember in smoked salmon that are safe for us. I am sure you can find loads of other marinated carrot lox recipes but this one is top 8 free, and one we made from a marinade that we devised based on flavours and how we know they work together to give that smoked salmon taste. Is it exact? No, nothing will ever be exactly the same as the original but we think this one is darn close and we love it!
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Coconut Aminos
- Smoked Paprika
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- Smoke Liquid
- Caper Brine
- Maple Syrup
- Lemon Juice
- Boiling Hot Water
- Gluten Free Top 8 Free Bagel
- Dairy Free Creamy Cheese
See recipe card for quantities.
The Ingredient Low Down
These get peeled into long stripsthat run the whole length of the carrot, if possible. It is really tedious, we won’t lie. It is the toughest part of this recipe. We found that if you do one side and then the other it worked best. Also leaning the carrot tip against the counter helped keep the pressure on the peeler to get an intact slice. A mandoline would work really well but we don't have one so we make do with a vegetable peeler. A spiralizer that does paper thin sections would work but the carrot would be one long ribbon. We prefer to get the carrot core in the slice as it adds texture and colour.
The fermented coconut aminos are soy and gluten free with a taste similar to soy sauce.
Dried works best but fresh can be used.
The smoked paprika is the best one to use in this recipe as it lends the smoky flavour along with the liquid smoke and deepens the likeness to a smoked salmon.
Check with the manufacturer about soy and gluten. This is a very strong concentrated smoke flavouring. If you prefer a hint of smoke, omit this and instead use just the smoked paprika and smoked salt like Maldon’s Smoked Salt in this soy free carrot lox.
The liquid from a jar of capers. Save the capers for the garnish on the bagels.
If making for someone following a vegan diet don’t use honey and make sure if you use sugar instead that it is vegan and free from processing with bone char.
We usually use freshly squeezed as they are one less thing we have to worry about ingredients of. If the concentrate is safe for you it can be used.
Gluten Free Top 8 Free Bagel
We like Little Northern Bakehouse as they are readily available here but use your favourite kind that meets your allergen needs.
Dairy Free Creamy Cheese
This is a cream cheese replacement like Daiya, Kate’s Farm, or Violife
Instructions/ Directions and Tips
Peel the carrots into strips that are half to the full length of the carrot.This is where 95% of the prep time will come in. If more than one person is working at ribboning the carrots the prep will go really quickly.
In the bottom of a medium sized heat proof bowl combine the Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Aminos, Dill, Smoked Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Smoke, Caper Brine, Maple Syrup, and Lemon Juice. Stir well.
Put the carrot strips into the medium bowl with the marinade.
Pour the boiling water over the carrots and the marinade. Mix well and push the carrots under the liquid. Let it steep for 20 minutes. This softening helps the carrots get the right texture and lose some of their crunch which makes them more like smoked salmon.
When the carrots and the bowl have cooled, place the bowl and contents in the fridge for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Remove the carrots from the marinade and place on a paper towel to drain.
Slice a gluten free top 8 bagel in half lengthwise so you have a top and a bottom of the bagel. Be really careful and do not put the bagel in your hand to slice it. Slicing bagels is a huge injury risk so always follow safe cutting practices, like cutting away from you and doing it on a cutting board. Western Bagel has a great gif and explanation with how to cut it properly.
Spread dairy and soy free creamy cheese spread in a thin layer on the cut side of the bagel. We use a butter knife to spread the cream cheese substitute.
Lay the drained marinated carrots on the bagel and garnish.
Blotting the marinated carrot lox well with a paper towel or kitchen towel (it may stain so be aware) will make these last longer, especially if being used as an appetiser or canape.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - Any safe vinegar can be used but we prefer the taste of apple cider for this recipe but if you do not have it, cannot have it , or don’t like it replace it with another vinegar that works for you.
- Caper Brine - can be omitted or “safe for you” pickle juice works as well.
- Sweet Potato - this can be done with sweet potatoes but they may need to be steamed over boiling water for 10 minutes then put in the marinade rather than softened in a warm marinade like the carrots are.
- Pickled Carrot - If the smoked salmon is not an appealing taste, omit the smoke liquid, use sweet paprika, and double the apple cider vinegar and add red onions and 1.5 tsps of kosher salt to make a brine with the hot water.
Vegetable Peeler - a really good one that will not hurt your hand as long ribbons will need to be cut from the carrots. A mandolin will also work but they have many safety risks associated with them so follow all the precautions for mandolin safety and your equipment’s usage instructions carefully. There is an article with some safety instructions on mandolins on the Food & Wine Blog.
Kettle - to boil the water. You can also use a pot on the stove but please do not boil the water in the microwave as it can be very dangerous.
Knives and a Cutting Board - a serrated knife works best for cutting the bagel. A butter or spreading knife will be needed to spread on the cream cheese substitute.
Measuring Spoons and Cups - for both liquid and dry ingredients.
Heat Safe Bowl - For steeping and marinating the carrot ribbons the boiling water will need to go in the bowl and it will eventually be chilled in the fridge.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
In the fridge in a sealed container with some of the marinade so the soy free carrot lox doesn’t dry out It can be kept safely for up to 3 days. So the carrots don’t marinade too long we used 2 -3 tablespoons of the marinade to ½ cup cold water as the storing marinade rather than the straight marinade.
We have not tried to freeze the soy free carrot lox and are unsure how they would fare. If you have frozen this recipe please let us know how it worked out.
No reheating is needed as this dish is best served chilled.
To make it a canape follow the directions from steps 1-8 and then at step 8 cut the bagel halves with creamy spread on it in bite sized pieces so each gets the cheese replacement on it. We usually get 8 per bagel half. Then lay on top with carrot lox and garnish with dill, capers, salt and pepper and red onion, if desired. This works really well for large parties, weddings, potlucks, and charcuterie boards.
What To Serve With Soy Free Carrot Lox and Ways to Use It
Carrot Lox is fantastic with bagels and cream cheese garnished with a few capers, some dill or red onions. Cut them into bite sized bagel carrot lox bites for parties and as canapes. Soy Free Carrot Lox is perfect on vegan and allergen friendly brunch buffets or charcuterie boards. Making sushi at home use carrot lox as an amazing type of filling for rolls.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- Vegetable Peeler
- Knives and a Cutting Board
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Heat Safe Bowl
- 2 Carrots peeled into long strips
- 2 Tbsps Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tbsps Coconut Aminos
- 1 teaspoon Dill dried
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ⅛ teaspoon Pepper
- 2 drops Smoke Liquid check with the manufacturer about soy and gluten
- 1 teaspoon Caper Brine
- 2 tsps Maple Syrup
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 ½ C Boiling Hot Water
- 4 Gluten Free Top 8 Free Bagels We like Little Northern Bakehouse
- 1 container Dairy Free Cream Cheese Like Daiya, Kate’s Farm, or Violife
- Peel the carrots into strips that are half to the full length of the carrot.
- In the bottom of a medium sized heat proof bowl combine the Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Aminos, Dill, Smoked Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Smoke, Caper Brine, Maple Syrup, and Lemon Juice. Stir well.
- Put the carrot strips into the medium bowl with the marinade.
- Pour the boiling water over the carrots and the marinade. Mix well and push the carrots under the liquid. Let it steep for 20 minutes.
- When the carrots and the bowl have cooled, place the bowl and contents in the fridge for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Remove the carrots from the marinade and place on a paper towel to drain.
- Slice a gluten free top 8 bagel in half lengthwise so you have a top and a bottom of the bagel.
- Spread dairy and soy free cream cheese in a thin layer on the cut side of the bagel.
- Lay the drained marinated carrots on the bagel and garnish.
- Contact the manufacturer of products, regarding cross contact and ingredients, to ensure they are safe for you
- Always check ingredients for allergens
- Do not use the same utensils on allergen free food, that previously touched allergens
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Always use care with boiling water and never boil it in the microwave