How to make Lox (Cured Salmon) to use in appetizers, bagels, in sushi or on salads. Delicious, healthy and easy! 

How to make Lox (Cured Salmon) to use in appetizers, bagels, in sushi or on salads. Delicious, healthy and easy! 

Have you ever made lox at home? It’s SO easy! This simple recipe for Homemade Lox requires only a few minutes of prep, and then simply watch as nature takes its course. The resulting lox, after 36 hours of curing,  is the perfect addition to your gatherings.

How to make Lox (Cured Salmon) to use in appetizers, bagels, in sushi or on salads. Delicious, healthy and easy! 

What is Lox?

Lox is Salmon that has been “cured” in salt rather than cooked or smoked. People often mix up smoked salmon with lox- and these are actually quite different. Smoked Salmon is smoked, lox is cured in a salt crust- meaning the salt cures the salmon, the salmon is technically uncooked. This was a way to preserve fish before refrigeration.

Lox tastes buttery, smooth and slightly salty. It is actually a very simple, fun process that is easy to make at home, quite economically, with very little hands-on time.

 

This simple recipe for Salt Cured Salmon with rosemary, juniper berries (optional) vodka and lemon zest requires only a few minutes of prep, and then watch as nature takes its course. | www.feastingathome.com

 

What I love about Lox

It can be used in so many other healthy dishes, if you start thinking beyond bagels and cream cheese. Although there is nothing wrong with a good bagel!

Use the homemade lox on appetizers (think bruschetta) or in these healthy sushi handrolls, in omelets or scrambled eggs, or in wraps or on salads. Or top your avocado toast with it- you’ll love the flavor!

The possibilities are truly endless.  Here it’s served as a holiday appetizer, Nordic style, with rye crostini, pickled fennel bulb, mustard seeds and creme fraiche.

What you’ll need to make Lox

  • Salmon (preferably king salmon)
  • Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher salt
  • Lemon Zest (optional)
  • Pepper (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Herbs- rosemary, thyme, dill or tarragon (optional)
  • Vodka- optional!

You really only need salmon and salt to make lox,  but we like to have fun around here! 

This time around I used crushed juniper berries, peppercorns and rosemary for a wintry twist, though in Spring, I would veer towards fresh dill or tarragon.

Play around with this, make it your own and have fun!

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How to make Lox

We are spicing up the salt here a bit with herbs, zest and spices.

Please know you can go with a plain and simple salt crust.

Crush optional juniper berries and peppercorns. YES, The juniper is optional, so if you can’t find it, don’t let this stop you, use more peppercorns.

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Add chopped rosemary or any herb you like! Thyme is nice too.

vodka cured salmon-105

Add zest from one or two lemons.

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Add salt, sugar and optional Vodka, just enough to moisten. VODKA IS OPTIONAL.

TIP: To add a bit of smoky flavor you could add a few drops of liquid smoke, some smoked paprika or even some smoked salt. Mix this up well.

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Place the salmon on a piece of parchment or plastic wrap, then coat the salmon with the salt mixture- evenly as possible on both sides.

Have you ever made lox at home? It's so easy! This simple recipe for Salt Cured Salmon with rosemary, juniper berries (optional) vodka and lemon zest requires only a few minutes of prep, and then watch as nature takes its course. | www.feastingathome.com

Wrap the salmon tightly and place on a sheet pan or in a baking dish.

Have you ever made lox at home? It's so easy! This simple recipe for Salt Cured Salmon with rosemary, juniper berries (optional) vodka and lemon zest requires only a few minutes of prep, and then watch as nature takes its course. | www.feastingathome.com

Place another sheet pan or baking dish over the top and press down.

Weigh the salmon down with something heavy like cans.

vodka cured salmon-112

Refrigerate for 24 -48 hours.

Note that any longer than 48 hours will produce very salty lox, so I’ve found the optimal time is 36 hours!

How to make Lox (Cured Salmon) to use in appetizers, bagels, in sushi or on salads. Delicious, healthy and easy! 

Rinse off the curing salt well, and pat dry. Then slice thinly.

PRO TIP: To slice this EXTRA thin, freeze the cured salmon for an hour -so the salmon firms up before slicing.

 

Lox and pickled fennel Bruschetta! This simple recipe for Salt Cured Salmon with rosemary, juniper berries (optional) vodka and lemon zest requires only a few minutes of prep, and then watch as nature takes its course. | www.feastingathome.com

To make these Cured Salmon Bruchetta:

  1. Pickle fresh fennel bulb, although pickled red onions or pickled shallots would be a fine substitute.
  2. In the pickling liquid, add mustard seeds, pink peppercorns and caraway seeds for a delicious twist.
  3. Toast pieces of baguette, brushed with olive oil until crispy.
  4. For the creamy cheese spread, try creme fraiche or whipped cream cheese.
  5. Spread the toasted baguette with the creme fresh, top with lox, and pickled things. Garnish with scallion, chive or dill.

How to make Lox (Cured Salmon) to use in appetizers, bagels, in sushi or on salads. Delicious, healthy and easy! 

Enjoy making the Lox- it is so much fun!

Sylvia

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How to make Lox (Cured Salmon) to use in appetizers, bagels, in sushi or on salads. Delicious, healthy and easy! 

How to Make Lox

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 36 hours
  • Total Time: 36 hours 15 mins
  • Yield: 12-16 1x
  • Category: Appetizer, How to
  • Method: Cured
  • Cuisine: Scandinavian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

How to make Homemade Lox using salt, vodka (optional)  and herbs and spices. Use this to make appetizers, or add to salads, pasta or sushi. Allow 36 hours of curing time.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2pound filet king salmon (center, thick cut)
  • 12 juniper berries (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt or coarse sea salt– do not use table salt– or see notes
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • zest from 2 large lemons
  • 1/4 cup chopped rosemary ( or thyme)
  • 1/4 cup Vodka (optional- you can skip this)

Instructions

  1. Place salmon skin side down on a plastic lined sheet pan, and pat dry.
  2. Crush juniper berries and peppercorns (a course grind is fine)
  3. Place in a small bowl and add salt, sugar, lemon zest, chopped rosemary (or other herbs). Stir to combine. Add a scant ¼ cup of vodka, just enough to moisten the salt mixture.
  4. Stir and spread evenly over the salmon, pressing it down.
  5. Wrap up tightly in plastic wrap. Place salmon in a baking dish, and set another slightly smaller baking dish over top, pressing down firmly. Pile up a few cans to weigh it down and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. 36 hours seems to be ideal.
  6. Unwrap the salmon and gently rinse the salt cure off well, under cold, running water.
  7. Pat dry and slice diagonally into paper-thin slices to serve.

Notes

  1.  The longer you cure it, the saltier it will be. I find that it is perfect at 36 hours, and no longer than 48 hours.
  2. The cured salmon keeps up to 5-6 days in the fridge and can be frozen. To freeze, wrap tightly with plastic wrap so no air is in contact (which will discolor it) then place in zip lock bag.
  3. Sometimes I’ll freeze in smaller portions. Thaw in the fridge for 24-36 hours.
  4. If you like a smoky flavor- try substituting smoked salt for some or all of the salt. Or add a little  liquid smoke, ( ¼-½  teaspoon) added to the salt paste is fine too!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 ounces
  • Calories: 245
  • Sugar: 11.3 g
  • Sodium: 336.1 mg
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Protein: 13.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 29 mg

Keywords: How to cure salmon, how to make lox, homemade lox, lox recipe, how to cure lox,

 

 

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  1. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I remember going to brunch as a kid and having it on a bagel with cream cheese. Brings back memories.

    1. It is fun to make Ernie! I need to make it again, it has been a while!

  2. I am about to try this, but do not have juniper berries in the pantry. Will gin, as a sub for vodka, add the juniper flavor? Thanks.

    1. That would be a great sub! Brilliant actually-wish I would have thought of it! 😂 Thanks Joseph.

      1. Excellent lox. The gin did add some piney flavor. I am thinking of adding pastrami spices next time to make a lox to use for a salmon rueben, with a Russian dressing/fennel slaw.Thanks for the push (encouragement) to make my own lox!

  3. Way up here in Michigan, Alaskan King is only available about two weeks a year. What salmon would make a reasonable substitute. I am assuming wild caught, not farmed. Thanks.

  4. I want to make this for a dinner party with my in-laws but my in-laws don’t drink. could I make this with out the vodka?

  5. Can’t wait to try this! What kind of salt is best to use here? Table? Kosher? I have some pink curing salt that I’ve never used before…

    1. Do not use table salt. Kosher or a coarse sea salt would work great. If the pink salt is coarse it should work great.

  6. you should try this recipe with half of your salt being smoked salt and add a bit of smoked paprika … instant smoked salmon hack 🙂

  7. How many days can this be stored in the fridge if not used immediately and can this be frozen?
    Thanks for your reply.

    1. Hi Jeanette, this lasts up to 5 days in the fridge and yes, absolutely, this can be frozen – wrap with plastic wrap very tightly so no air is in contact( which will discolor it) then place in zip lock bag. Sometimes I freeze in smaller portions. Thaw in the fridge for 24-36 hours.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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