From Emma Spitzer’s Fress: Lox is salmon that has been cured or brined but not smoked, and the dry curing really brings out the flavour of the fish. I was lucky enough to visit New York a few times as a child and to enjoy the typical Jewish delis where lox and cream cheese bagels with pickles were an absolute favourite. Just make sure you purchase a good-quality, thick piece of salmon fillet and remove any bones before starting the curing process.
100g sea salt
150g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
grated zest of ½ lemon
70g black peppercorns
1 packet of dill, around 25g
800g piece of skin-on salmon fillet
Mix the salt, sugar, fennel seeds, grated lemon zest and peppercorns together in a bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of the salt mixture to the base of a non-reactive dish wide enough to hold the salmon and lay 4 or 5 dill sprigs on top. Lightly score the skin of the salmon and then place, skin-side down, on top of the salt mixture and dill. Cover with another 2 tablespoons of the salt mixture or enough to cover. Set the remaining salt mixture aside.
Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, drain off any liquid from the salmon, then repeat the process by adding 2 tablespoons of the salt mixture to the base of the dish and another 2 tablespoons on the top of the salmon to cover. Repeat this process over the following 2 days, replenishing the dill sprigs with fresh ones each time.
On the fifth day, rinse the salt mixture from the salmon really thoroughly and dry with kitchen paper. Leave, uncovered, in the fridge overnight to allow the flavours to deepen.
To serve, slice the salmon very thinly from the front of the fillet to the tail and serve on a toasted bagel with lashings of cream cheese. Alternatively, forget the cream cheese and smother with Dill and Mustard Sauce instead, along with some capers and red onion.
Fress is available here.