Sheet Pan

Smoked Carrot "Lox"

April 18, 2016
4 Stars
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Chickpea "tuna," I still love you, but when it comes to non-fish fish, nothing holds a candle to carrot "lox." There's no salmon here, but the carrots—fileted, seasoned with smoked salt and liquid smoke, then steam-roasted in the oven—are remarkably similar in texture, color, and flavor, too.

If you're looking to make it taste even more like the sea, follow the lead of Stonefruit Espresso (where we were first introduced to this dish) and add sesame oil and crushed nori before roasting. Experiment with adding miso paste or rice wine vinegar, too.

Serve carrot lox however you'd serve lox-lox—on a bagel with cream cheese, sliced red onion, and capers. (Psst—it's also good on matzo.)

Slightly adapted from The Chubby Vegetarian. —Sarah Jampel

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is featured in the story, 11 Ways We're Switching Up Breakfast in the New Year, sponsored by Kite Hill. —The Editors

  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Makes 1 full sheet tray
  • 1 pound organic carrots (about 5 to 6 large)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
In This Recipe
  1. Peel and very thinly slice—they should be thin but they shouldn't be paper-thin or translucent—the carrots longways on a mandolin. In a small bowl combine the smoked salt, brown sugar, black pepper, and liquid smoke.
  2. Layer the carrot slices in a large bowl and add spice mixture to each layer until all of the carrot slices and spice mixture are used up. Set this aside for at least 30 minutes. The salt will soften the carrots and leach out much of their liquid.
  3. Remove the carrots from the bowl and discard the liquid and spices that have gathered at the bottom. Add the carrots, eggs, and lemon zest back to the bowl and toss to coat each strand with egg.
  4. Line a 1/4-sheet pan with parchment paper and brush it with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  5. Starting with a long strand of carrot, lay it flat across the parchment paper. Continue to lay the carrots one after the other overlapping them almost completely. Pair shorter strands together to span the length of the dish.
  6. Once all the carrots are laid out, brush the top with the egg that remains in the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil to seal in the moisture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until carrots are just tender. Keep covered and allow it to cool completely.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jeff Bigman
    Jeff Bigman
  • Emily Mitchell
    Emily Mitchell
  • Debbie V Barnes
    Debbie V Barnes
  • Marika Vd Berg Salomons
    Marika Vd Berg Salomons
  • Goldy

17 Reviews

Jeff B. December 3, 2020
What about the addition of fish sauce instead of salt?
Kelly October 8, 2020
I only ended up using 1 egg, and I used a vegetable peeler to slice the carrots. I was really happy with the result; I'd definitely make again and experiment with adding miso or other flavors.
Emily M. February 15, 2019
I wish y’all had made a truly cruelty free version w/out eggs so it was accessible to vegans as well. Especially considering most recipes don’t use it and it’s not a part of real smoked salmon recipes.
Debbie V. December 3, 2016
This is much better without the eggs. The cruelty free version simply contains carrots,tamari, liquid smoke and kelp seasoning.
Annabelle October 13, 2016
Hmm, I made this today and it was somewhat awful. Trying to figure out where I went wrong. Dry, leathery, not tasty. Perhaps I didn't slice it thin enough, or my oven ran too hot? Hard to imagine I'll put the effort into trying it again, though!
Author Comment
Sarah J. October 13, 2016
Sorry it didn't work out for you Ann! I wonder if the moisture escaped during the baking process?
Marika V. September 25, 2016
I didn`t have liquid smoke and used smoked paprica intead, no idea how harmfull thi iss but worked out fine.
Goldy June 1, 2016
And this is so healthy. Thank you!
Terre G. May 20, 2016
I would love to make this for my Vegan daughter-in-law. Any recommendations for an egg substitute? What role do the eggs play?
Maria K. December 12, 2017
I replaced it with aquafaba a the result was pretty tasty. The goal is to change the mouthfeel.
judy May 9, 2016
This looks and sounds divine. I am mandolin-challenged, though, and would fear that I would cut myself cutting carrots longitudinally. I think I will try this using a long bias instead. I rarely use liquid smoke, and hadn't thought about safety concerns. I use so few chemical intentionally and would so rarely do this, that it would probably be OK. ON th other hand, even with going organic and clean, we are still exposed to a certain amount of unavoidable toxins. Everything in moderation!
monacake April 25, 2016
Any recommendations on the best way to store leftovers and how long they will keep?
judy May 9, 2016
Suggest in a standard storage container. I would guess only a few days keeping time. But would you really have any leftovers?!
ChefJune April 19, 2016
This sounds fascinating - particularly for vegans who miss their lox! On the other hand, I'm a serious avoider of liquid smoke. There are many questions about its safety as an ingredient in food. Contains several less-than-stellar ingredients -
Hickory smoke distillate (CAS # 74113‐74‐9) is produced by condensation of smoke bearing water vapor resulting from the controlled burning of hickory (Carya species, Juglandaceae family). It consists primarily of acetic acid, dimethoxyphenol, 2-butanone and water.[4].
Sean R. April 19, 2016
To quote the same Wikipedia entry, "The European Food Safety Authority has found that some liquid smoke products contain In Vitro (in "petri dish" conditions) but not In Vivo (in a living organism) carcinogenic genotoxic compounds."
When I reviewed the original study from the EFSA, the list of identifiable compounds in liquid smoke appears scary (including what you've listed). However, I agree with their conclusion that it interacts with the human body safely. I respectfully disagree with your concerns over liquid smoke. There's just so much fear mongering and misuse of science in food writing. The fact that Food52 never tries to scare their readers makes me love them all the more. Anyway, this was all a digression. I just came here to say OMG LOX (in any form) IS HAPPINESS.

Please consider viewing the EFSA study from 2010. If you mistrust the standard practices of food analysis, however, do not feel obliged to respond. Cheers!
Author Comment
Sarah J. April 19, 2016
We actually have another editor doing some research into liquid smoke—its origins, how it's made, some of the controversy surrounding it—so stay tuned for our follow-up!
Sean R. April 20, 2016
That sounds exciting! I'd like to see more objective food journalism in the world. :)