Copycat Kirkland Smoked Salmon recipe (Dry Cured Salmon)
Lox is one of my favorite breakfasts, particularly when paired with a bagel and some cream cheese. If you haven’t made lox before, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is – it takes less than 24 hours and requires no special equipment.
If you are looking for more ways to enjoy salmon, I’ve got plenty of ideas! This Homemade Salmon Caviar Recipe is another favorite, particularly for parties. Plus, you’ve got to try my Aromatic Cured Salmon Recipe and these Salmon Asparagus Foil Packets.
What is lox?
If you are thinking, “okay, sounds good…but what IS lox?”, you aren’t alone. I actually had to do some research on this myself to figure it out! Thankfully it’s simple enough. The term “lox” refers to salmon that has been cured with brine (aka salt). Traditionally, lox was only made from the belly of the salmon, but now all the meat from the fish is included.
Is lox the same as smoked salmon?
Traditional lox, like the one in this recipe, is not smoked at all. Instead, it is cured in salt. However, it does have a smokey flavor, thanks to the addition of liquid smoke. Smoked salmon refers to a fish that has actually smoked, in a smoker. However, the term “smoked salmon” is tossed around a lot, so some people call lox smoked salmon, even if that’s not technically correct.
If you would like to make actual SMOKED SALMON using a smoker, follow my recipe HERE. The instructions are clear, so if you have a smoker, you can make it yourself! The Smoked Salmon comes out juicy and very flavorful.
Lox Bagel: the Ultimate Brunch Staple
The other thing about lox is when you hear the phrase, you almost always think of a lox bagel. And for a good reason – there are few pairings I can think of that I love more than salty, sweet lox piled on top of a fluffy bagel. Add in a schmear of cream cheese and I’m in heaven! It’s truly delicious.
Other Ways to Eat Lox
However, don’t let your imagination be limited! There are so many other ways you can enjoy this salmon than solely a lox bagel. Here are a few ideas:
- Lox on toast – a fun twist on the classic! It pairs very well with avocado too if you enjoy avocado toast.
- Added to a salad – salmon pairs well with a simple summer salad where it can truly be the star of the show.
- Make sushi – this would be so fun with rice, avocado, and some bagel seasoning.
- Layered on top of cucumbers – for a quick, simple snack, layer cream cheese on cucumber slices and enjoy with the salmon.
- Eaten with scrambled eggs – this high protein breakfast is a great way to start your day.
- Added to cheese or a charcuterie board – if you want a fun way to elevate a cheese plate, add lox!
Tips for Making Salmon Lox
- Rinse with cold water, then pat dry. To give the salmon lox the purest flavor possible, make sure to rinse well and then gently pat dry.
- Press the salt into the fish. After you cover with salt, make sure to press it firmly into the salmon on both sides.
- Rinse with water if overly salty. If your fish is too salty for your liking after it’s done curing, just rinse the fish. If it’s not salty enough, keep it in the brine a bit longer.
- Slice your salmon thin. To get those thin, even slices, make sure your fish is cold. I place it in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes before slicing for it to get slightly firm, then use a sharp knife to slice.
Recipe at a Glance: How to Make Lox
For detailed recipe instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Rinse your salmon, then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle one side of the fish with salt, pressing it into the meat with your hand. Then turn it over and do the same to the other side.
- Mix together liquid smoke and water, then pour the mixture over the fridge.
- Place the container in the fridge for about 24 hours.
- Rinse the brine, pat dry, slice, and enjoy!
Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe with precise ingredient amounts
How to Make Lox (Dry Cured Salmon)
This homemade lox recipe is made with salmon fillet, brine, and water. It is a simple and delicious salmon recipe that can be enjoyed over a bagel, on salad, or snacked on.
Rinse fish fillet under running water, pat dry with paper towel.
Sprinkle with coarse salt both sides of the fillet, pressing the salt into the fish.
Mix liquid smoke & water. Pour on top of the fish.
Allow the fish to cure in the fridge, overnight (24 hours). Depending on the thickness of your fish it might take more or less time.
Rinse excess salt. Pat dry with paper towel. Slice thinly & serve.
Store in closed container, refrigerated, for up to a week.
TIP: If the fish is overly salty after the brine, rinse it with water or soak it in water until it is desired saltiness.
If it is not salty enough, just keep in the salt a while longer.