I tried to make lox…
…and it worked!
My all-time favorite breakfast? Lox and Bagels, with lots of toppings. So why do I never eat it, except for when my parents buy it for me when I visit? Well, at $1000 per pound (exaggeration) lox are a little out of my price range.
A few months ago I discovered Lox are super easy to make! To make lox, you basically just pack a brine around a nice piece of salmon, weigh it down for a few days in the fridge, and wait for the liquid to drain out. Slice it thin and off you go on your way to frugal lox and bagels.
Lox are not actually “smoked salmon” – It’s cured with a dry brine of sugar, salt and spices. Sometimes lox (Nova Lox in particular) are cold-smoked to give a smoky flavor, but the smoke isn’t what cooks it. The salt and sugar draw the water out of the salmon to give it a longer shelf-live and extra flavor.
I loosely followed this super simple lox recipe, read more on my lox-making-adventures below.
- Start with a nice piece of salmon – I used wild coho salmon from Whole Foods:
2. Mix up your brine:
3 Tbls Kosher Salt
2 Tbls Sugar
1 Tbls Cracked Black Pepper
2. Spread out a piece of plastic wrap, large enough to wrap round the fish.
3. Rinse and pat the salmon dry. I used 1 lb of salmon for this recipe.
4. Sprinkle half the brine on the plastic wrap, please the salmon on top, and sprinkle the rest of the brine over the salmon, so that it’s covered evenly.
5. Wrap the plastic around the salmon, leaving one end open so the liquid can drain off.
6. Place in a pan and weigh it down with heavy things you have lying around your refrigerator. Make sure the items apply even pressure to the fish by putting another pan or Tupperware lid between your weights and the salmon.
7. Prop up one end of the pan with something 1/4″-1/2″ high (I used a pak-tech from my beer-weights). Make sure the open end of the plastic is facing down, so the liquid drains off.
8. Leave in the fridge for 2-4 days, pour the liquid off when you see a puddle (once a day or less).
Unwrap it and give it a taste! You’ll know it’s ready when it’s not opaque and it becomes translucent. Flip it over and peel the skin off. Slice it thin for serving.
Store in a tupperware in the fridge -it will last about a week, or you can freeze it (tightly wrapped) for later.
That’s it – much less salty than store bought salmon and a fraction of the price. Enjoy!