A few weeks ago I tried a smoked carrot sandwich from the Wicked Kitchen vegan range at Tesco. I’ve got to admit, it was really good! It had the look of a smoked salmon sandwich, the and much to my surprise it tasted like it too!
I was surprised and intrigued by this. Smoked salmon seems like something that ought to be very difficult to reproduce as a vegan, but maybe not? It got me thinking – with Christmas coming up, could I create something in the style of a smoked salmon canapé?
Well, I gave it a go and I’m really rather happy with the result. It tastes great, and the agar agar gives it that slightly gelatinous texture of the real thing. Here’s what I did:
120g chopped, cooked carrot (roughly 1 carrot)
1.5 tbsp. lemon juice
1.5 tbsp. liquid smoke
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 sheet nori seaweed
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. capers
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. agar agar powder
- Boil chopped carrot for about 10-15 minutes
- Combine the carrot with all the other ingredients apart from the agar agar powder in a blender until smooth.
- Heat the mixture in a pan over a medium-high heat. Stir in the agar agar powder and keep on the heat for around five minutes until it thickens, stirring constantly.
- Spread the mixture onto a sheet of baking paper – I taped some baking paper to a chopping board to keep it flat. Finish it off with a pastry brush to give it some texture.
- Chill in the fridge until firm.
To go with this I made some cream cheese, based on a recipe from the No Meat Athlete cookbook, which I varied a bit…
120g Cashew nuts (soaked)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
15g nutritional yeast
1 tsp. dried dill
1 shake onion powder
1 shake garlic granules
1/4 sheet nori seaweed
Easy – just combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth!
I’m SO pleased with this! The taste is really close to smoked salmon. The seaweed, capers and lemon give it a real fishy flavour, and the liquid smoke, smoked paprika and salt make it taste, well, smoky and salty. The texture is pretty good too; it’s not exactly like smoked salmon, but it’s not far off. The colour isn’t quite right, it doesn’t have that ‘irn bru’ glow, but I’m not too fussed about that.
The cream cheese was really good too, and complimented the smoked ‘salmon’ really nicely. The two went well on top of some oatcakes as an appetiser. I have a feeling that smoked carrot ‘salmon’ will be making an appearance this Christmas!