Homemade Lox

Easy dry-brine recipe for homemade lox which can be customized with your own blend of herbs and spices.
Course Appetizer, Basics
Cuisine American
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Fish
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Pescatarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 side


  • 30 grams salt (~2 tablespoons)
  • 40 grams sugar - evaporated cane juice (~3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper - coarsely ground
  • 1 side of salmon (see important note below the recipe)


  1. Mix the salt, brown sugar and black pepper together along with any other herbs of flavorings you would like to use. If you are using fresh herbs, be sure to dry them thoroughly with paper towels before mixing them in, otherwise your salt will clump together.
  2. Lay down a sheet of plastic wrap large enough to completely wrap your salmon and then sprinkle a layer of the salt and sugar mixture that's about the size and shape of your salmon. The layer should be thick enough that you can't see through it.
  3. Place the salmon skin-side down on the layer of salt and sugar and then cover with the rest of the salt and sugar mixture.
  4. Wrap the plastic wrap around the fillet, but leave the ends open so the liquid that comes out of the salmon can drain off.
  5. Place a weight on top of the salmon. I used a tray that's slightly smaller than the one the salmon is in and added cans to weigh it down. Feel free to get creative here. As long as you're applying even pressure to the whole fillet your solution should work just fine.
  6. Place the salmon with weights in the refrigerator and tuck something (like a wad of paper) under one side so that the tray is tilted. This helps the liquid that comes from the salmon drain off as the fish cures.
  7. The curing time depends on how thick the salmon salmon is but it should be done in 2-3 days unless your salmon is very thick. You can tell it's done by slicing into it. The meat goes from opaque to translucent as it cures so as long as it's the same color all the way through it should be done. If the center is more opaque than the edges, it probably needs some more time.
  8. When the salmon is finished curing, Use tweezers to pick out the pin bones along the center of the fillet. Then, you should be able to peel the skin off the salmon from the head to tail
  9. Slice the lox as thin as possible with a long sharp knife (a carving knife or sashimi knife will work the best).


It's important to note that the brine is not concentrated enough to kill the parasites that can occur in salmon. That's why its imperative that you use salmon that's undergone parasite destruction by freezing in accordance with the FDA's Parasite Destruction Guarantee. This type of salmon will usually be sold a "sashimi grade" or otherwise indicate that it's safe to eat raw.