So technically I guess you could say I made gravlax since I added the dill, but you could easily omit that. I did not add juniper berries or any of the other ingredients you might add to gravlax so that’s why I call this lox.
When I was growing up my dad would buy lox from his favorite seafood shop, being a kid I never even looked at the cost. All I knew was they sure tasted good. Once I became an adult and started paying for everything myself I quickly became aware of the cost of everything. Lox are no cheap my friends… today at the store I checked the price so I could post an up to date cost, $14.99 for four ounces was the cheapest they had. My jaw dropped! My homemade lox were nowhere near that price.
For some reason I really thought making lox was a lot more complicated than it really was. No special tools needed, just some salt, sugar and of course some salmon. My local store had Atlantic salmon for $12.99/lb. and Sockeye salmon for $11.99/lb. I went for the Atlantic, but Sockeye would work just as well. In fact, I’m going back for some Sockeye today. The salt, sugar and dill that I used added maybe another $1.50 to the total cost of making the lox. My lox are a bargain compared to the store bought, and did I mention mine taste out of this world? Well now I’m telling you… it tasted out of this world!!!
For the Recipe:
2 lbs. salmon, center cut preferred
1/4 c. kosher salt
slightly less than 1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. dill (optional)
First, check your salmon for any bones, and remove if you find any. Mix together the salts (if you don’t have smoked salt you can easily use all kosher salt) and sugar. Use a pan/baking dish large enough to hold the salmon. Place a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap around the salmon. Sprinkle a little of the salt/sugar mixture on top of the plastic wrap laying in the baking dish. Place the salmon on top of that, skin side down. Generously cover the salmon with the remaining salt/sugar mix, including the skin side and sides. Finish wrapping the salmon in the plastic wrap, leaving two sides slightly open to allow the liquid to escape.
Next, weigh down the salmon using whatever you have. I used a smaller baking sheet with a heavy pot on top of that.
Liquid will drain off of the salmon so you will want to drain that. After 24 hours my salmon had released quite a bit of liquid, but by the 3rd and 4th day the liquid had significantly reduced to almost nothing. On the fourth day I checked the salmon, the liquid ceased and the color had changed, it was done!! So in total I let this piece sit a little over 3 days, even though I say 4 days I didn’t actually make the lox until late on the first day. Hope that makes sense…
Remove the plastic wrap and lightly rinse off to remove excess salt/sugar.
Pat dry, then lay on a flat surface and thinly slice. Easy peasy and now you have lox!!