Homemade smoked salmon has a strong Jewish appeal.
- 6-8 ServingsServings
- 1 1/2 - 2 pound salmon filet, boneless, with the skin on
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 bunch dill, stemmed and leaves washed
Rinse salmon filet and make sure all pin bones are removed. To do this, take small pliers or tweezers and pull the small bones out in the same direction they face. There are pin bones more often in wild salmon than in farmed salmon.
Cut the salmon in half, to make two equal-sized pieces.
Mix the salt and sugar in a bowl. On a plate or in a shallow dish, pile half of the mixture onto each half of the salmon. It will seem like there is extra mixture, but just pile it on. The salmon will absorb the mixture during the curing process. Next, place the dill on top. Sandwich the two pieces of fish together and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
Place the fish into a gallon-sized ziploc bag and push out all of the air. Now place in a shallow dish, such as a pyrex baking dish.
Refrigerate, with weights on top, which is crucial. Use another heavy dish, bottles of wine--anything to weigh down the fish.
The lox will take 2-3 days to cure. At the end of each day, drain any liquid that has been extracted from the salmon and flip the salmon over, so that both sides are evenly weighed down. You can begin tasting it after 2 days. When it is cured to the desired taste, remove fish from plastic and rinse well.
To eat, slice thin on a bias, leaving the skin behind. Eat with your favorite cream cheese and bagel, and enjoy.
The cured lox freezes very well. Simply wrap well in plastic and place in a freezer bag to keep.
Next time, you can change the flavor--make it Mexican with chili powder and limes; Greek with lemon and oregano; Israeli with zaatar... the possibilities are limitless!
Recipe by Elisheva Margulies