Bagels, lox (smoked salmon), and cream cheese is a favorite breakfast/brunch food that is enjoyed by all ethnic groups. It has become a staple on menus because it combines a starchy carbohydrate, a salty delicacy, and a creamy fat which seems to hold a fond place on our palates. Imagine if you could make a facsimile of this specialty delicacy food, without harming and consuming the fascinating and sentient beings called salmon, a most noble fish.
The amazing ability of salmon to drive their bodies up sometimes thousands of miles in powerful streams to find the place that they originally spawned years before is remarkable. Most are anadromous: they hatch in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. What intelligence to be able to dodge the fierce bears who station themselves over the wet rocks to try to catch the vulnerable fish as they seek their passage home. How noble a species considered to be among the smartest of fish who are purported to learn from each other, have long-term memories and can recognize each other.
The Native Americans revered the salmon and used them in their culture, art forms and ceremonial feasts. Also
respected by the Pacific NW coast natives, the Celtics, Norse and Welsh populations. They knew the magic lore that salmon carries and the mythological references associated with the species as it represented wisdom and venerability.
Now why should we avoid eating this fish. Atlantic salmon are 99% factory farmed whereas Pacific salmon are 80% wild caught. With the factory methods, high loads of mercury, PBC’s, DDT’s, lead and hormones harmful to humans are found. Also too much vitamin A is toxic to the body. The flesh is high in cholesterol and fat and may contain arsenic. Plus the methods to catch these wild caught fish are cruel and the nets kill off other species of fish populations. So fake it for salmon’s sake and make faux lox from clean organic sources.
There are two major ingredients choices in making this Vegan lox. One is thin sliced, slow roasted carrot strips which has the orange color and vitamin A content of salmon. The one i prefer to use are ripe, red plum or Roma tomatoes. The key is in the marination solution adding the “magic” ingredient of liquid smoke. This savory breakfast/brunch treat will satisfy your taste buds plus entertain the eye and the palate!
6 large plump Roma or Plum tomatoes
3 tbsp. tamari (low sodium) or soy sauce
3 tsp. fine olive oil
1 tsp. water
1 tsp. kelp powder flakes
1-2 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
- Bring a saucepan to a boil. Pierce the skin of each tomato with a small slice or cut and drop them into the rolling boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cool water to stop further cooking. The skin will be easy to peel right off.
- Mix up the marinade solution and whisk until combined.
- Peel the skins off the tomatoes and discard.
- Cut the tomatoes in half removing all seeds and firm membranes inside including the stem top. Discard.
- Slice in thin strips and place in marinade, mixing well.
- Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- After toasting your bagel, cover with soy cream cheese, many brands are good, (Follow your heart brand with chives in it or Trader Joe’s plain).
- Garnish with your choice of diced chives or scallions, radish slices, capers, red onions sliced thinly, and black or white sesame seeds.
- Tomato lox will keep in a covered container for 4 days refrigerated. See if it lasts! Hah!
Enjoy this ecological and delicious treat of a delicacy!