In the Pacific Northwest, when smoked salmon is mentioned, most of us think of the traditional “hot smoked” salmon prepared in an electric or gas smoker. Cold smoking is becoming more popular but some of the true cold smoking setups can be expensive and tricky to master. With the rise in cold smoke generators like the Smoke Chief, cold smoking has never been easier. If looking to perfect cold smoked salmon lox like you would find in a New York City deli, try this recipe.
1 salmon fillet (up to 1 pound)
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
Alder or Apple Smokehouse Pellets
In a small bowl mix salt and sugar until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle a layer of salt/sugar mixture in the bottom of a shallow dish. Place salmon, skin side down, and cover with remaining salt/sugar mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 7-10 days. Remove from refrigerator and discard liquid. Soak cured fillet in cold water 20 minutes. Pat fillet dry and place on grill rack, let fish sit at least 30 minutes to form the pellicle. Load Smokehouse Smoke Chief cold smoke generator with alder or apple pellets and place in cold smoke contained unit. Pictured here, the setup is inside a gas grill. Racks were removed on one side to make room for the Smoke Chief. The grill is not turned on at any time during the cold smoking process. Cold smoke until fish reaches desired consistency, 12-16 hours. Once smoked, place fish in a sealable container and refrigerate overnight. Slice fish paper thin and serve with Herbed Cream Cheese or add to salads, pasta, or an egg scramble.
Herbed Cream Cheese with Lox
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped salmon lox
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, cilantro, mint or dill.
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
In a medium bowl, mix herbs and spices with cream cheese. Gently fold in lox and serve with crackers.
Additional Recipe Suggestion Pictured - Eggs Benedict with Lox
Recipe by Tiffany Haugen