I have made lox following bbally's instructions several times over the last year or so. I grew up on lox & cream cheese with a slice of onion on a good bagel. This was a weekly event at our house. Over the years I have tried lox many times & I can honestly say I have never had lox as good as what I can make at home following this recipe.
Here is the recipe that I followed:
- Start with 2 Salmon filets, skinned & dry. We get ours at Sam’s Club.
- Trim the belly & tail off so you have two pieces with uniform thickness shaped like a rectangle & weighing about 5 lbs. total.
- To 1 gallon of water add 2 cu. of pickling salt. Put salmon in a food safe plastic container and add salt water & enough ice to cool the salmon down to under 40 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Mix up 1 tsp. cure #1, 1 cu. kosher salt, 1 cu. raw sugar, 2 tbsp. white pepper. If you don’t have 5 lbs of filets then adjust the cure amount to what you have.
- Zest 1 orange & 1 lemon.
- Remove salmon from salt water & dry off. Dry out container & place a layer of the cure mix on the bottom & sprinkle half of the zest on it. Then coat 1 side of the salmon filets with the cure mix & lay them down on the inside of the box cure side down. Spread the remaining cure mix on the top of the salmon & sprinkle the remaining zest on top of that.
- Place a board, ( I use a bamboo cutting board that is the same size as the box ), on top of the filets. Then take a 1 gallon zip lock bag & fill it with ice cubes & put that on top of the board to weigh it down. Put a cover on the box & place it in the fridge for 48 hours.
- After 48 hours, remove the salmon and rinse them off. Then soak them in ice water for 90 minutes. Remove from ice water & dry off. Then put them on a cooling rack in the fridge with some paper towels under the rack to catch any drippings. Let them dry in the fridge for 36 hours.
- Remove from fridge & cold smoke with light smoke for 4 hours, making sure the salmon never gets above 90 degrees IT. You may need to put a pan full of ice in the smoker to keep the temp down.
- After smoking wrap the filets in saran wrap & put them back in the fridge on the cooling rack for 24 hours.
- After the 24 hours they are ready to be sliced. Slice them very thin at a 45 degree angle to make wider slices.
I started with 2 skinless salmon fillets from Sam's.
Out of the package.
Next I trimmed them, I cut the belly & thin section of the tail off. I wanted 2 nice uniform pieces for the lox.
The tail & the belly will be going on the grill tonight for dinner. EVOO & Cajun seasoning for blackened salmon, but I will get to that later. Here's the 2 pieces for the lox.
Next step is a salt water bath for 30 minutes. Take 1 gallon of water & dissolve all the salt the water will take. Then ice it down & soak the salmon.
Take the salmon out of the water, dry it off and then we put on a dry cure rub. Consisting of:
1/2 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup white or brown sugar
1 tsp white pepper ( I used black, didn't have any white )
1 tsp cure #1
Mix together well.
Zest 1 lemon & 1 orange, don't add to rub.
Dredge the fillets through the rub & spread 1/2 of the remaining rub in a container that the fillets will lay in, sprinkle 1/2 of the zest on the rub mixture. Next place the fillets on the mixture & sprinkle the remaining rub & zest on top. Then place a board on top of the fillets, I used a bamboo cutting board and a zip lock bag filled with ice for weight on top of the board. Put a top on the container & put in the fridge for 48 hours.
After 48 hours take the salmon out & rinse it off. Then back in an ice bath for 90 minutes to desalinate the fillets. After desalination they go on wire racks & back in the fridge for 36 hours to dry.
I put some paper towels under the racks in the fridge.
After 36 hours it's time to cold smoke the salmon, now were getting close to making lox. I'm going to cold smoke them with my AMNS with hickory dust in my Weber kettle for 4 hours. I filled the AMNS up & lit both ends. Since the temp here is in the 80's & I don't want the salmon IT to get above 90 degrees. I'm going to put a big pan of ice under the salmon & put the AMNS next to the ice pan.
You can just see the TBS rolling.
It's been 4 hours & you can see the salmon IT never got above 76 degrees.
It's ready to come off. It's starting to look like lox!
Take a look at the AMNS. Is that a perfect burn or what? In another hour the 2 would have hit each other dead center in the middle row. I couldn't have done this without my AMNS, well I guess I could have, but it sure wouldn't have been this easy.
Next the salmon goes back in the fridge for 24 hours. Fast forward 24 hours later. Here it is homemade lox ready to slice.
Here's the first few slices. I'm just using a long slicing knife. I don't think a meat slicer would work for this.
Here's a pile of lox ready for the foodsaver.
Bagged up & heading for the freezer. Kept one nice bag out for the next couple of days snacking. Each bag is about 1/2 lb.
This is what I've been waiting for. A bagel, cream cheese, slice of onion & a mess of lox!
That's all folks. Thanks for looking.