Homemade Lox

I was pretty darn proud of myself when I first made homemade bagels, but I think this homemade lox tops it. Challah! Who knew it was so easy to make you own lox? Now I do! Plus it’s so much cheaper than store bought.  Salmon curing and saving money all rolled into one- how quintessentially Jewish! Initially I was a little confused at all the lox names out there- smoked salmon, nova lox, gravalox, lox. Are they all the same thing just under different personae a la Beyonce and Sasha Fierce? Or was each its own creation? Turns out I made lox today- gravalox has some herbs incorporated and smoked salmon aka nova lox is smoked after the curing process. Just plain lox is the simplest but also just plain tasty. Here is all Jew need!

Salmon.

Salt and sugar.

I told you this was easy! First up, check your fish for any pin bones. Those are the tiny bones along the thick side of the fish. Your salmon may not have any- mine didn’t! But if you do simply remove with tweezers or your hands if you are dexterous like that. Next up, mix your salt and sugar. I used a ratio of 2:1 sugar to salt. But 1:1 would work too. The salt does the actual curing by drawing out  moisture and keeping the fish fresher and the sugar helps your salmon from not tasting like a salt lick! (Mmm Salt Lick.) Then simply cover the salmon completely on both sides in the mixture.

Then cover your fish tightly with saran wrap. Cut a slit in one end where the fish juices can escape. Mmm fish juices.

Now we have to refrigerate the lox for curing! I put mine in a cake pan.

Then covered it with my toaster pan.

And then I weighed the lox down with a bottle of olive oil. Any heavy object will do. The weighing down is optional, but I assumed it can’t hurt to push out any fish juices (last time I will mention fish juices I swear.)

Now you want to tilt the salmon curing contraption so the fish juices (sorry) drain to one side. I used a sauce pan top to hold up one side of the pan.

Those beers are the roomie’s- I stick to classy drinks only. Now the hard part- the waiting! I’m soooo impatient. Blah. After 24 hours check on your salmon. It should start looking like lox and some of the fish juices (new drinking game. Drink when I say fish juices) should be piling up. Check on your salmon- if all the salt/sugar mixture is gone, reapply and rewrap. Drain the fish juices (drink!) and put the lox back for another 24 hours. If the salmon is still covered in the mixture, no need to reapply, just refrigerate for another 24 hours. I didn’t take photos of this because it basically looks the same as above! And my camera was waaaay in the other room. After 48 hours total your lox should be done!

Now unwrap the lox and wash it off well. The skin should peel off easily at this point. If it doesn’t, you can always filet it off with a sharp knife.

Now just cut off small pieces on an angle and you’ve got lox! At this point you can smoke the fish, but I like it as is and I was hungry.

There you have it! Now you can invite some friends over for brunch of homemade bagels and lox! How domestic of you. I like my lox with the classic accoutrements- over a toasted bagel with schmear, onions, capers and a squeeze of lemon. Dill would be nice too!

I’ll bring the mimosas.

Homemade Lox
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade lox is easy and affordable to make!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound salmon fillet
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • Bagels, red onion, schmear, capers, lemon and dill for breakfast!
Instructions
  1. First up, check your fish for any pin bones. Those are the tiny bones along the thick side of the fish. Your salmon may not have any- mine didn’t! But if you do simply remove with tweezers or your hands if you are dexterous like that.
  2. Next up, mix your salt and sugar. Then simply cover the salmon completely on both sides in the mixture.
  3. Then cover your fish tightly with saran wrap. Cut a slit in one end where the fish juices can escape.
  4. Now we have to refrigerate the lox for curing! I put mine in a cake pan. Then covered it with my toaster pan and weigh it down with a bottle of olive oil. Any heavy object will do!
  5. Now you want to tilt the salmon curing contraption so the fish juices drain to one side. I used a sauce pan top to prop up one side of the pan.
  6. After 24 hours check on your salmon. It should start looking like lox and some of the fish juices should be piling up. Check on your salmon- if all the salt/sugar mixture is gone, reapply and rewrap. If there is still salt on the fish, no need to reapply. Drain the fish juices and put the lox back for another 24 hours.
  7. After 48 total hours unwrap the lox and wash it off well. The skin should peel off easily at this point. If it doesn’t, you can always filet it off with a sharp knife.
  8. Now just cut off small pieces on an angle and you’ve got lox!
  9. Serve with the above accoutrements.
Notes
Cook time is curing time.

 

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Comments

  1. Oy !

    This takes the cake or the carp or whatever. Homemade salmon is more work than my mind can process – I am exhaused and going back to sleep. But Mazel Tov, you have achieved beyond any member in our family going back 3000 years!

    Love you,

    Bub

  2. Amazing!!! Who knew? I’m so trying this- great blog!!

  3. Nice, I’ve been meaning to get on the cured salmon bandwagon…and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one with a toaster tray that’s totally stained ;)

  4. This is very impressive.
    In a time where everyone wants everything done and ready-made (you won’t find store-bough frozen lasagne at our place) , your idea is refreshing . As the title suggests, home-made aka self prepared food.

  5. Oh my gosh I am beyond impressed! I love lox!! But I have never attempted to make my own. I always assumed it was super hard and difficult. Not so! I am going to give this a go! Thanks!!

    Totally random but what temple do you go to in ATX? We go to Temple Beth Israel. I was just curious. :)

    • Thanks, Kelly!! No I actually don’t belong right now. I did go to Temple Beth Israel for Rosh Hashannah a few years ago though. I’d love to join y’all sometime!

  6. Oh, I have got to try this…….i thought lox involved this massive process, never thought it would be so easy. thanks for the instruction

  7. Informative, funny, entertaining! I have some in the fridge right now, working its magic. I always take it one more step by refreshing the lox in fresh cold water for an hour or so. Less saltiness, more loxiness.

    Anyway, did Jew know that you can take any popular song (Beatles songs work great) with the word “you” in it, replace it with “Jew” and get a hilarious new title? Try it! For example:

    Baby It’s Jew
    Till There Was Jew
    I’m Happy Just To Dance With Jew

    Malotov!

    • Great tip on the water! HAHA Jew are too funny!

      • One more tip, Amy: homemade lox freezes really well. I usually cut them into 4 oz. pieces and individually wrap them tightly in plastic wrap (vacuum packing would be better); that’s enough for about 4 bagel-halves. Added bonus: because of the high salt content, they never freeze rock-solid, so you can easily shave razor-thin slices right from the freezer (I use a very sharp filet knife), and they thaw in just a minute or two. I sleep better at night, knowing I have those little treasures in the icebox. And so will Jew!

  8. This is a very simple recipe, and that’s good. The one I use is the gravlax recipe on “cooking for engineers”. That’s 2 tbsp kosher salt (or sea salt), 2 tbsp sugar, and 2 tsp pepper, and (secret ingredient) 2 capfuls of gin….plus a whack o’ fresh dill. Wrap up and leave in a container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. When it comes out, I rinse & rinse & rinse, and soak a couple of times, to get as much salt out as possible. Next step is optional, but I like to cold smoke it for 3 to 4 hours, wrap and refrigerate, and eat the next day.

  9. That’s really fun! We corn our own beef + made pastrami!

  10. After about 40 hours of curing, my salmon tasted quite fishy. Not at all like the stuff I get at the store. Any suggestions on how to not have that overly fishy flavor next time?

    • Hi Lisa- the main thing I can think of is maybe the fish wasn’t fresh enough? King Salmon is the best quality and produces the best lox, but any good quality wild salmon should work great.

      • I got Scottish salmon. They said it was flown in that day, but maybe they lied. Also, I’m not sure if it was wild or farm.

        I got rid of the fishy flavor by throwing it in my smoker for 45 minutes with some apple wood chips. So all was not lost!

        • Huh that’s strange. Hopefully they didn’t lie but I can’t think of another reason why it would be fishy, and I didn’t finding anything in my Google search. Great idea with smoking it!

  11. Vey-iz-mir. I love this!

  12. My wife and I are invited to our daughter’s home this Sunday for a Mother’s Day brunch and even though it’s Friday after 5pm… do you think it’s to late to start curing salmon to make lox to take along? We all love Sushi… so what’s the difference and a little food borne illness hasn’t killed too many in the past?!? Besides my wife, daughter, son-in-law and I COULD stand to loose a few pounds anyways! LOL

    PS: I’ve tasted others recipes homemade lox where they place a layer of fresh dill over the sugar and salt before wrapping it in cellophane… it adds a delicious light dill note to the flavor. Have you tried this method?

    Wait a minute… I can’t start now… it’s almost Shabbot! Oiy … goyisha kupp … what was I thinking, I’m REFORM now!

  13. Mark Robinson says:

    Thanks for the recipe. My wife and I just got back from fishing on Lake Michigan and have some serious poundage of salmon and lake trout. We’ll start the curing tonight and I can hardly wait till it’s done.

    Mark

  14. Im a Catholic and even I use Kosher salt. It is far superior.

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