I luvs me some lox.
Lox is preserved salmon. For me, it's one of those great preservation techniques where you extend the life of a food, while making it into something great. Similar to homemade jam. As good or better than the fresh food.
Anyways, lox is brain-dead easy to make.
You start with a nice piece of salmon. I usually buy a whole salmon and produce two big halves. This time around, I just bought a half salmon already boned out.
This piece of salmon -about 5lbs - already had all of the small pin bones removed. If you buy a whole salmon, you'll need to feel along the inside of the flesh until you find a bone. Using a pair of needle nose pliers, pull out all of the bones. There'll be a lot of them.
Next, you need to de-scale the fish. Under a faucet, find the way the "grain" of the scales goes, and use the back of a knife to go against the grain and remove the scales. Not difficult, but pretty messy.
When you're done, pat the fish dry and mix up your cure. It's 1/3 salt, 1/3 brown sugar and 1/3 maple syrup.
For a whole salmon, I use a cup of each. Since this was a half salmon, I used a half cup of each. Put all of the seasoning in a bowl, and mix it up. It will be a thick slurry.
I cut the pointy tail portion off for my wife to eat. I then cut the remaining filet in half.
Next, get a dish with sides at least an inch deep. When the salt goes into the fish, it will expel the water in it. Take a piece of plastic wrap that is at least twice as long as the dish. Put it - centered - in the dish. Lay the first piece of fish -skin side down - and slather half of the salt/sugar/syrup slurry on the flesh side.
Do the same to the other piece.
Place the second piece of fish - flesh to flesh - on top of the first piece. Bring the plastic wrap from the two ends and wrap up the fish. Take another piece that you put underneath and wrap it side to side so the whole package is wrapped up very tightly.
Now ya wait. I generally take an old cutting board or plank, and put a couple of heavy cans on top of the fish. This helps to expel the water in the fish. Put the whole contraption in the fridge, and wait 3 days.
Unwrap the fish, rinse it under cool water to get all of the slurry off of it, then pat it dry. Here's what you get -
The flesh of the salmon will be much more dense. Unlike fresh fish where when you push it, the flesh will bounce back, this flesh will stay indented.
Get a sharp knife and start a-slicin'. The thinner, the better -
Me, my favorite is on a nice fat bagel with cream cheese -
From what I've read, this stuff is supposed to last a couple of weeks if kept in the fridge. Never made it that long in my house.... ;-)
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