How to Make Lox
How to Make Lox
Lox is a cured salmon fillet that people often pair with a bagel and cream cheese. You can make your own lox using a basic brining technique. It may sound complicated, but the process is actually quite easy and only requires refrigerating the salmon with a salt and sugar mixture for several days to cure it. If you're in a hurry, though, you can purchase smoked salmon and slice it thinly so you can serve it with a bagel and herbed cream cream cheese just as you would traditional lox.
1 ½ to 2 pounds (680 to 907 g) salmon fillet, boneless, with skin on
1 cup (288 g) kosher salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
½ bunch dill, stemmed and leaves washed
4 ounces (113 g) smoked salmon
Lox and Herbed Cream Cheese Bagels
8 ounces (225 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (10 g) minced scallions
1 tablespoon (4 g) minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon (4 g) minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk
Pinch of kosher salt
3 slices lox
Preparing Homemade Lox
Rinse the salmon and check for bones.To prepare homemade lox, you’ll need 1 ½ to 2 pounds (680 to 907 g) of boneless salmon fillet with the skin on. Run some cold water in the sink and rinse the fillet well. Next, examine the fillet to make sure that all of the bones have been removed.
- You can purchase either "belly lox" or regular "lox" fillets. Both are salmon, but belly lox comes from the stomach region of the fish.
- The graining of fat in the stomach region makes belly lox the better option to use when you make lox because it is more widely spaced. This results in a final product that is more desirable and less salty.
- If there are any pin bones left in the salmon fillet, use a small pair of tweezers or pliers to pull them out in the same direction that they’re facing.
- Pin bones are more likely to occur in wild salmon than farmed salmon.
Cut the salmon in half.Once the salmon is thoroughly rinsed, use a sharp knife to cut the fillet in half. Make sure that the pieces are as equal in size as you can get them.
Combine the salt and sugar.Add 1 cup (288 g) of kosher salt and 1 cup (200 g) of sugar to a medium bowl. Mix the ingredients together well so they’re fully blended.
- If you like, you can also add about ¼ teaspoon (½ g) of coarsely ground black pepper to the mixture.
Divide the salt mixture between the two salmon pieces.Place the two pieces of salmon in a shallow dish so they’re side by side. Pour an equal amount of the salt mixture over each piece, piling it right on top of the salmon.
- It may seem that there is a lot of excess salt mixture on the salmon, but the fish will absorb it during the curing process.
Set the dill on top of salmon and sandwich them together.After you’ve added the salt mixture to the salmon pieces, divide half a bunch of dill with the stems removed between them and add it on top of the salt. Next, place one of the salmon pieces on top of the other, being careful not to knock off the salt mixture.
Wrap the salmon and place it in a plastic bag.When the salmon pieces are sandwiched together, carefully wrap them in plastic wrap. Once the fish is secure in the plastic wrap, set it in a large plastic zipper bag.
- Before closing the zipper bag, be sure to push all of the air out of it first.
Weigh the salmon down and refrigerate it for a few days.Set the bag with the salmon down in a shallow dish. Place another heavy dish on top of the bag to weigh it down, and refrigerate the fish for 2 to 3 days.
- You can use any heavy item, such as a bottle of wine, to weigh down the salmon.
Drain the liquid from the container daily.While you’re curing the salmon, it’s important to keep it from getting soggy. Remove any liquid that’s been extracted from the salmon from the plastic bag and flip the fish over so both sides are evenly weighed down.
Taste the fish and remove when it’s reached the desired taste.At the two day mark, begin tasting the lox. Once it has the taste that desire, you can take it out of the curing container and unwrap it.
- If the lox isn’t properly cured after two days, you should leave in the container for another day.
Rinse the fish and slice it.After you’ve removed the fish from the plastic wrap, rinse it well under cold water to remove any residue. Use a sharp knife to cut it thin on the bias. Make sure to leave the skin behind.
- You can freeze the lox if you don’t plan to eat all of it right away. Wrap it well in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag for storage. You should eat it within 3 to 4 months.
Whipping Up Easy “Lox”
Slide the knife over the smoked salmon at an angle.If you don’t want to make your own lox, you can substitute store-bought smoked salmon. However, you must cut it properly. Place 4 ounces (113 g) of smoked salmon on a cutting board, and position your knife against the fish at a slight angle in a downward motion.
- Any sharp knife with a long, non-serrated blade works well for cutting the salmon. However, you can also purchase a special salmon knife that’s designed specifically for cutting smoked salmon thinly.
- Make sure that your knife is as sharp as possible for the cleanest cuts.
Insert a knife into the smoked salmon shallowly.To create the appropriate texture for lox, it’s important to slice it as thin as possible. When you insert the knife’s blade into the fish, keep it as shallow as you can so you can create a paper-thin slice.
Use a back and forth motion with the knife to slice the salmon.Once you’ve insert the knife into the salmon, move the blade back and forth in a smooth motion until you’ve cut a slice. You shouldn’t have to push too hard to cut the fish, so if you feel resistance, you may want to sharpen your blade.
- Use the length of the knife’s blade to make a long, sweeping back and forth motion for the cleanest cuts.
Continue slicing until all of the salmon is cut.After you’ve cut the first slice, repeat the cutting process until you’ve sliced all of the salmon. Be sure to leave the skin behind as you cut, and remove any black meat that you come across.
Fixing Lox and Herbed Cream Cheese Bagels
Combine the cream cheese, scallions, dill, parsley, milk, and salt.Add 8 ounces (225 g) of cream cheese that’s been softened to room temperature, 1 tablespoon (10 g) of minced scallions, 1 tablespoon (4 g) of minced fresh dill, 1 tablespoon (4 g) of minced fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of milk, and a pinch of kosher salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat the mixture on low until it is well blended.
- You can also use a handheld electric mixer to beat the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Cut the bagels into rounds lengthwise.Once the cream cheese spread is prepared, take 2 bagels and use a sharp knife to cut them into rounds lengthwise. You should create 3 rounds from each bagel for a total of 6 rounds.
- Plain bagels are a classic option for lox and cream cheese, but you can use any flavor that you prefer.
Spread the cream cheese mixture over three of the rounds and top it with the lox.After you’ve sliced the bagels into rounds, use a butter knife to smooth some of the cream cheese mixture over 3 of the rounds. Add a slice of lox to each round on top of the cream cheese mixture.
- You can add some capers to the lox and cream cheese if you like.
Top the cream cheese and lox with the remaining rounds and serve.Once you’ve added the lox, top each of the bagel pieces with the remaining 3 rounds to create sandwiches. Serve the bagels with lox and herbed cream cheese alongside some light salads or hearty soup.
QuestionCan I add sugar to the brining process?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. One can make brine from equal parts salt and sugar.Thanks!
To make lox at home, cut a rinsed and deboned salmon fillet in half with a sharp knife, and combine 1 cup (288 g) of kosher salt and 1 cup (200 g) of sugar in a medium bowl. Then, pour the mixture onto the halves, and sprinkle ½ of a bunch of dill onto the pieces before sandwiching them together. Once the pieces are together, wrap the salmon in plastic wrap and put it in a zipper bag to be refrigerated for 2-3 days under a weight, draining the excess liquid every day.
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