Quick Cured Salmon (Or Easy Lox)

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Cured salmon is two things:  Delicious, and expensive.  This recipe is two things:  Easy, and cheap.  In the summer, it also involves no cooking or having to spend time near a hot stove.

It so happened that one day I had in my kitchen French bread and cream cheese, and I thought it was a shame that I didn’t have any lox to go with it all.  I rode my bike to the market (because I’m trying to do that more) and saw the price of lox, $10+ for a small little baggie.  Even fresh salmon doesn’t cost that much… “Ding,” the lightbulb appeared over my head.

I found the cheapest salmon filet I could find and came across a piece that was a little under two pounds and cost about $5.  Deal!

Scouring the internet, I compiled a few recipes that were similar to each other without being too fancy, and came up with one that came out pretty well and was stupidly easy.

Quick and Easy Cured Salmon (Serves 3)  Prep time 15 minutes  |  Active time 2 days

Salmon:  1x 2lb filet.  Skin on is okay.
(1 to 1 ratio of salt to sugar)
-Salt:  1 cup
-Brown sugar:  1 cup

Simple, right?

Rinse the salmon and pat dry.  Set aside.

Mix the salt and brown sugar till equally distributed.

In a container (big enough to hold the fish), lay down some plastic wrap (enough to wrap the fish).  I used a Pyrex bakeware container.  It was big enough and it had a lid.  On the plastic wrap, sprinkle some of the salt and sugar mixture as a bed for the salmon.

If your fish has the skin still on, pat and coat the flesh with the salt and sugar mixture making sure it covers all the flesh of the fish.  When it’s coated, place on the plastic wrap with the bed of salt and sugar skin-side up.  If it’s skinless, then it doesn’t matter.  When it’s skin-side up, the moisture that’s drawn out of the fish by the salt will have an easier way to go out.  When placed on the plastic wrap, add the remaining salt and sugar on top of the fish to coat (even the skin).

Use the plastic wrap to wrap up the fish in a tight little package.  If you container has a lid, use it.  If it doesn’t, then cover with more plastic wrap.  In a day, it’ll get messy, that’s why I put it in another container.  Some recipes call for you to drain the liquid, rinse and pat-dry the fish, and reapply more salt and sugar.  I didn’t do that, but my fish was fresh so I probably didn’t have to do that step.  You should do the extra step if you’re worried.  I’ve not drained it and came out okay.  If you’re using not fresh fish, then you might have to do all that over again, but then I’d question if fish that wasn’t fresh would be the best choice for this recipe.

Let it sit in the covered container in the back of the fridge for about two days.  On the second day, you’ll notice the flesh of the fish is really firm.  You could hold the filet and it won’t bend easily.  After two days, unwrap, rinse clean, and pat completely dry.  When ready to serve, slice it up thinly and enjoy.

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And here’s what I was hankering for….

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All that’s missing is red onion and capers.


The Grand Poobah

The Grand Poobah


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