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6.7.2 Lox, Nova Lox, and Gravlax


This article is from the Food Preserving FAQ, by Eric Decker ericnospam@getcomputing.com with numerous contributions by others.

6.7.2 Lox, Nova Lox, and Gravlax

1. from Ray Goddard :
Gravlaks(Norway)- buried or grave fish, for a modern version:

Take a 6-7 lb salmon, 1 tablespoon brandy, 3/4 oz sugar, 1 1/2 oz salt, pep-
per, fresh dill.

Clean and wipe out fish (do not wash), fillet, sprinkle with brandy. Mix
sugar, salt and pepper and sprinkle over fish. Put one fillet skin down on
plate, chop dill and spread it over, place other fillet on top skin side up.
Cover with foil and place board on top and a weight (1lb) on top of that.
Put in cool place 3 - 4 degrees C. Turn fillets twice a day and pour liquid
back onto fillets. Remove weights after two days. Ready in three to four
days. Serve cut in thin slices with more pepper and chopped dill, accompany
with rye bread and butter.

By way of Leah Smith:
Lox comes from the German word "lachs," which means salmon, and came here
with German-Jewish immigrants. Note that true lox is not smoked, merely
brined, although the smoked salmon called Nova is often incorrectly referred
to as lox. The name Nova comes from Nova Scotia, which is where that type of
cold-smoked salmon first came from. Old-fashioned Jewish lox is saltier and
oilier than Nova.

Here's a recipe:
1 - qty of VERY fresh, VERY fatty (with whole skin) salmon
1 - large earthenware crock (or wooden keg) Kosher Salts (or rock salt)
Qty of clear flavorless oil comparable to the qty of salmon

- Skin the salmon keeping the skin as whole as possible.
- Cut the salmon meat into thin slices.
- Within the crock, (or keg), lay down a layer of salt to cover evenly.
- Place one side of the salmon skin scale side up flat onto the salt layer.
- Drizzle the oil lightly over the skin until shiny.
- Lay one salmon slice atop the oiled skin.
- Drizzle the oil lightly over the salmon slice until shiny.
- Layer the salts thinly atop the salmon slice to cover.
- Repeat the layers as above alternating salt, salmon, oil for all remaining
- Before adding the final layer of salts, lay the other side of the skin
scale side up atop the oiled salmon.
- Drizzle with oil until shiny.
- Layer salts atop the final layer of skin to cover.
- Cover entire crock (or keg) with multiple layers (3-4) of plastic wrap.
- Weigh down the top of the sealed crock (or keg) with heavy stones.
- Store in a cool place 2 weeks prior to usage.
- Eat when ready!~

NOTE: This will keep almost indefinitely, but refrigeration is

Alitak Pickled Salmon
>From Brian Bigler :

Alitak is not an incorporated town, although many people can claim it as a
birthplace. It's the location of a salmon cannery on the southern shores of
Kodiak Island (Gulf of Alaska) that was first established around the turn of
the century. The following recipe was actually developed years ago by one
of the many fishermen hired by the cannery to harvest and deliver fish.

This recipe has become the standard for Wards Cove Packing Company, where I
have retained it and pass it to you.

Fillet salmon (sockeye works best) and remove skin, cut into bite sized
pieces. For one batch of the pickling mixture listed below, you'll need
three quarts of fish pieces (one fish) and three sliced onions. This will
make 10-12 pints of pickled salmon.

Soak salmon pieces in a stainless steel, plastic, wood, or crockery pot for
8-12 hours in a mixture of half salt and half water. Refrigerate and turn
the mixture with your hands or a soft spatula every few hours. When brining
is complete, gently rinse for one hour, changing the cold water three times.
Air dry about 1 hour to let pieces firm up and a slight glazing will

Pickling Mixture:
8 cups white vinegar
3 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
7 Tbsp pickling spices

Mix all the above ingredients in a large stainless pot and boil for 15-30
minutes, stirring frequently. Let cool to room temperature, placing the pot
in cold water or refrigerating if necessary. Mixture must be cool when
poured over fish.

Slice three medium-large white onions thin and layer fish pieces and onion
slices in pint jars. After each layer or two, add pickling mixture. Stir
the pot of pickling mixture before dipping out a portion to insure spices
are evenly distributed when mixture is spooned into jars. Fill jars and
seal using fresh lids. Refrigerate and turn jars upside down for a day or
two during the first week.

Tastes best about two weeks after pickling, and at Alitak it's gone in one


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