I'm a California transplant from New York, and on the long list of delicious things that you can't get in California, including pizza, bagels, egg rolls and cold weather, is lox. In my opinion, ACME nova lox from Brooklyn, NY is the king of all things appetizing. I grew up with the kid who stands to inherit the 4th generation business and have eaten the stuff all of my life. The only problem is, you rarely see it out here in Cali, and back home in Port Washington, NY, at Let There Be Bagels, the best appetizing (aka "spread") store around, nova costs $40.00 a pound!
Even if you've managed to keep your job through these crazy economic times, that's still a lot of hooch for some uncooked fish. As with many things DIY, there's an alternate, cheaper method that I'll share with you, which, in my humble New York Jew opinion tastes just as good, if not better than the full price cold smoked specialty store bought stuff.
Step 1: Ingredients
I picked up some locally farmed, sustainably raised Duart Salmon there for $9.99 per lb. Now that must have been on sale, but you should be able to find a very high quality salmon that's under $20.00 per lb. - still 1/2 the cost of the stuff at the bagel store.
In terms of quantity, the process takes just a little foresight, 24-48 hours worth, so I'd recommend buying about twice as much as you'd think you'll need and inviting over some friends if you find yourself having extra. I bought 2 lbs. and was able to feed 6-8 people with modest portions.
If you fish counter is selling more than one type of salmon, tell them you're going to be making lox with it and that you'd like the freshest thing they've got with a decent amount of fat in it. I've heard fishmongers recommend Duart Salmon, and more often, King Salmon.
- 2 lbs. Duart salmon fillet
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 bunch dill
- 1 lemon
- cream cheese
- red onion