Smoked Salmon vs Lox
Smoked salmon and lox are both salmon, but they’re not the same thing. (I’ll give you a minute to process in case you’ve been thinking they were the same your whole life.)
You ok? Good. Let’s get into it.
Smoked Salmon and Lox are both salmon (duh). They’re both cured in a brine made up of salt, and a little sugar. Smoked salmon is smoked after it’s brined. Lox is never cooked. Smoked salmon can be made with any part of the fish. Lox is made only with a filet from the belly of the salmon. They both share a super silky texture, but smoked salmon gets the benefit of a silky texture AND a smoky flavor.
Smoked Salmon can be either cold-smoked or hot-smoked. Once it’s cured, Cold-Smoked Salmon is rinsed and smoked at a low temperature (usually around 99 degrees F) so the smoke adds flavor to the fish without cooking it. Hot-Smoked Salmon is salt-cured then smoked with heat that actually cooks the fish. The result is a flaky texture similar to the texture you’d get from searing or roasting a salmon filet. It also has an intense smoky flavor.
There’s some debate as to whether the ‘Nova’ in Nova Lox refers to salmon from Nova Scotia or to the process by which it’s made. Like regular lox, Nova Lox is cured. Unlike regular lox, Nova Lox is then cold-smoked.
Gravlax is lox with spices. Like lox, it’s cured in a salt brine with salt and sugar, but Gravlax brings the flavor with the addition of A LOT of fresh dill. Juniper berries, black pepper, horseradish and vodka (yaaaasss!) are also added sometimes. Back in the day, Gravlax was buried in its brine to help the flavor penetrate the fish faster. Today, we skip the burying and weight the salmon down while it’s brining to achieve the same effect.
Smoked Salmon Flatbread
Bagels and Lox (or Smoked Salmon) with a schmear of cream cheese, red onions, capers and dill is a breakfast/brunch staple. It’s one of my favorite things and when I like a thing, like really, really like a thing, I want it all. the. time. So, I got hungry and piled these favorite things on toasted, leftover flatbread and this delicious appetizer was born! I stirred a little sour cream into the cream cheese to lighten it up and make it easier to spread but other than that, these are all the traditional flavors we’ve been stacking on bagel halves for years. It’s familiar, delicious, fast and easy. You’re welcome! Enjoy!
Make sure your flatbread is crisp so it forms a sturdy bed for your toppings.
You can use large or small capers. Smaller capers don’t require chopping.
Naan or toasted pita bread are great substitutes for flatbreads.