This is a 2 part recipe because the first half is all about making your own brined salmon. Technically it is gravlax and not smoked Nova style salmon and will take 36 hours to complete. You can skip the first process and go right to serving lox if you go to your local grocery and purchase NOVA smoked salmon. It is equally as good but will cost your more than 2X’s as much and won’t provide the proud factor of making it yourself.
This recipe will provide ample portions for 6-8 people. You can cut it in half if you like.
Part I – Preparing the fresh Salmon
If you fish counter is selling more than one type of salmon, tell them you’re going to be making lox with it and that you’d like the freshest thing they’ve got with a decent amount of fat in it. Fishmongers recommend Duart Salmon, and more often, King Salmon.
Ingredients for Curing
- 2 lbs. Duart or King salmon fillet
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 bunch dill
- 1 lemon
Step 1 de-bone the fillet -likely your fillets have a couple bones. Using your fingers, run them down the center of the fillet and either pluck them out by hand or use a short knife to help your grab them to slide ’em out.
Step 2 curing pack – Mix equal portions of sugar and salt in a bowl. Pack the mixture thoroughly all around the salmon and wrap the fish in several layers of plastic wrap. Leave one end open to allow for fluid drainage.
Step 3 press \ cure using a bottle of water (quart-ish size and a heavy pan (cast iron works great) or any item that has a few lbs of weight to it that will fit in your fridge and is flat. Prop up the pan the fillet is in on the opposite end that you left open with the plastic wrap. After 18 – 24 hours have passed, drain the collected fluids off the fish and repack with salt \ sugar (unless you have enough left from earlier on both sides of the fish and put the whole lot back into the fridge for another 18- 24 hours. You can leave it in the fridge this way up to 5 days or until you intend to serve it.
Step 4 Cutting the filets is easy if you have a sharp knife. Carefully peel the skin off of the fillet and toss it.Then cut the fish on the short axis against the grain. Don’t pile up the slices, they will stick together and become a nightmare to separate. Lay them out flat individually. Take care not to let them sit out longer than it takes to cut the fillet. It will get warm and fall apart.
Part II – Serving the Lox
Use the Salmon from above OR buy Nova smoked salmon at your local grocery.
- bagels: 8- Doz.
- cream cheese
- red onion or scallions
Cut bagels in half and lightly toast.
Spread cream cheese on bagel and add capers. They will roll off you you don’t put them on now. Then add the salmon (enough to cover most of the bagel) , squirt lemon juice on the salmon then sprinkle on some dill. Top with your ions and chow down!