Believe it or not, this vegan salmon made from chioggia beets is pretty good! It has a smoky, salty and rich flavor to imitate the taste of smoked salmon. You can enjoy it on a bagel or on rye bread. Don’t forget the fresh dill!
The week before the 2020 lockdown began, my husband and I enjoyed one of the best meals of our lives at a vegan restaurant called Fancy Radish in Washington DC. Insanely good. And the service was just about the best I’ve had anywhere.
One of the dishes we ate that night was a vegan salmon on dark rye bread. The salmon was made from Chioggia beets, which have a natural white and pink circular stripe pattern on the inside. It was SO GOOD and my husband was very impressed because smoked salmon on rye bread was something he ate frequently growing up in Finland.
I tried to recreate the dish several times with red beets but I found that regular old red beets have too strong a taste/color to turn out right.
Fast forward a year. Lockdown is over. When I finally got to fly back and visit my parents, my dad showed me that he had grown Chioggia beets in his garden. Then he pulled out this monster:
Nobody quite knew what to do with this beet, so I asked if I could cook it up. The result is the “beet salmon” you see below, which, thankfully, turned out well.
How To Make Beet Salmon
Beet Salmon / Vegan Lox
- 1 large chioggia beet (about 3 cups)
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 2 Tbsp tamari sauce
- 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 drops red vegan food coloring
- Peel and slice the beet thinly (about ¼" thick). Add them to a pot and cover with water. Boil until beets are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blend all the marinade ingredients together in a glass dish.
- When the beets are cooked soft but not falling apart, drain them and let them cool 5 minutes. Then add them to the marinade dish, coating each piece well with marinade.
- Cover the dish air-tight and let rest in the fridge at least 2 days. They will turn completely pink. Serve on bagels or rye bread with vegan cream cheese and garnish with fresh dill. Store beet salmon in the fridge up to 2 weeks tightly covered.