cured salmon, raw salmon

Lox is brined salmon and requires no cooking to eat! Put this on bagels, sushi rolls or sandwiches! Learn how to make lox with step-by-step photos!

Russian and Ukrainians serve lox in many weddings as it’s the cheaper alternative to smoked salmon. The curing helps the fish not to spoil and this recipe isn’t overly salty! Omit the pickling spice if planning to use for bagels or enjoy the Russian way with onions. This lox is good and is the only way I eat homemade lox!

NOTE: This recipe is ONLY for fresh salmon. Frozen salmon may not work for this. 

Cured fish default

Ingredients For lox: 

  • 2 1/2 lbs Fresh Salmon Fillet
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1  tbsp Pickling Spice

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How to make lox: 

  1. Wash and pat dry the salmon using paper towels.

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2. Combine the salt, sugar and pickling spice into a shallow bowl.

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3. Cut the salmon fillet into 4 equal pieces and dredge each piece into the salt mixture coating each side very well. Make sure to use up all that seasoning mixture for all those pieces. 

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4. Place coated fillets into a large container (preferably with a lid) and refrigerate for 12-24 hours before eating.

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5. To serve take a fillet chunk and wipe off the seasoning remnants. Grease the fillet chunk with 1 tsp of vegetable oil and slice. Serve cold.

Note: Store salmon in the refrigerator for up-to one month. Natural juices should release from the fish, do not discard that liquid as that helps preserve the fish.  

cured fish top view

How To Make Lox

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Alyona's Cooking
Lox is brined salmon and requires no cooking to eat! Put this on bagels, sushi rolls or sandwiches! Learn how to make lox with step-by-step photos! 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs Fresh Salmon
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Pickling Spice

Instructions

  • Wash and pat dry the salmon using paper towels.
  • Combine the salt, sugar and pickling spice into a shallow bowl
  • Cut the salmon fillet into 4 equal pieces and dredge each piece into the salt mixture coating each side very well. Make sure to use up all that seasoning mixture for all those pieces.
  • Place coated fillets into a large container (preferably with a lid) and refrigerate for 12-24 hours before eating.
  • To serve take a fillet chunk and wipe off the seasoning remnants. Grease the fillet chunk with 1 tsp of vegetable oil and slice. Serve cold.

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingCalories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 14gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 1776mgPotassium: 351mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 28IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




4 comments

    • Gary Sloane

    This recipe omits a crucial step for making what Scandinavians would call gravlax or, in Swedish, gravvad lax. (The “grav” part comes from the same root as the English word “gravy” and refers to the marinade that is release in the curing process.) So, in addition to your choice of spices, this dish should be pressed under weights to aid in curing and improve the texture by extracting some of the water from the fish.

    I use rectangular Pyrex dishes and lay the first salmon fillet, skin side down, add the salt, sugar, pepper and dill to both sides, then over it with the second fillet, skin side up, so that the flesh of both is in contact, with all the spices in the middle. Then I cover the fish loosely with Saran wrap, place a second Pyrex dish on top, and place either cans of tomatoes (or whatever) or a brick on top, and place in the refrigerator.

    When ready, slice as thin as possible on the diagonal. In Scandinavia, this is typically served with a thin sauce made of prepared mustard, sugar, dill, and capers. This dish can also be made from steelhead trout.

    It takes two to three days to make proper gravlax. It should be removed and basted in the marinade at least once a day; twice a day is better.

    Personally, I use kosher salt, brown sugar, and ground pepper (but not pickling spice), and fresh dill. Some Russians I know add vodka, but I think this is a waste of vodka and doesn’t help the fish. In a Swedish cookbook, I found a comment that, in Finland, if no fresh dill was available, pine needles would do. In California, I have used redwood needles for this purpose. Delicious, if not historically authentic.

    PS: I doubt my Ukrainian ancestors could afford salmon until they arrived in the US. My Polish Jewish ancestors had a pickled fish business in Bialystock in the 19th century, but I don’t have their recipes. I believe their specialty was herring.

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Hi Gary, thanks for the input! This recipe is pretty common in the Ukrainian groups I’m surrounded by. It’s been served at many functions and weddings which is how we like the taste profile. However, your method sounds interesting, thanks for sharing!

    • Jele

    Great to use salt moderatly! Kept 12 hours, lovely taste

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Hi Jele, it would be nice to use less but it works as a preservative so don’t want to compromise. Do you have any suggestions?

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