Although they now more closely represent the staple of every effective hungover brunch I've ever had, bagels and lox will always have a deeper personal significance for me. With Yom Kippur fast approaching, I've been reflecting on all of the High Holidays I've spent at home with my family, and more importantly, on all of the bagels and lox we've eaten to ring in each and every New Year.

In the spirit of starting anew and of being quintessentially Jewish, I decided that I did not want to pay for lox this year, but I definitely wanted to eat it. Good news! It turns out making the stuff yourself is a lot easier than you might think, and the better news? You can do so for 1/4 of the cost. I did it in the comfort of my dorm's hallway, and I only got a few nasty looks about the aquarium-like aroma that permeated my entire floor for three days.

Jewish Deli Lox

  • Prep Time:20 mins
  • Cook Time:2 days
  • Total Time:2 days 20 mins
  • Servings:6
  • Easy


  • 1 pound fresh salmon fillet
  • 1/2 cup white cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup coarse salt
bread, vegetable, cheese, tomato, meat, salmon
Kayla Sherman
  • Step 1

    Rinse salmon and check your fillet for pin bones by running tweezers or pliers through the fish (these would be along the thicker side).

    fish, salmon, seafood
    Kayla Sherman
  • Step 2

    Mix sugar and salt.

    tea, vegetable
    Kayla Sherman
  • Step 3

    Cover fillet with a full, opaque layer of the sugar/salt mixture on both sides.

    #SpoonTip: Really pile this stuff on. More is more.

    fish, meat
    Kayla Sherman
  • Step 4

    Cover salmon very tightly with a few layers of Saran wrap and cut a slit on one end of wrapped fish.

    fish, salmon, seafood, sushi, meat, tuna, sashimi
    Kayla Sherman
  • Step 5

    Place fish in a cake pan (or really anything with edges taller than your fillet), and cover it with another pan-like object. (I used the plate from my microwave.)

    #SpoonTip: To get fish juices out, angle pan so that slitted side slopes downward.

    Kayla Sherman
  • Step 6

    Check fish fillet after 24 hours have passed.

    #SpoonTip: If salt/sugar mixture is gone, re-add more mix, re-wrap fish, re-slit one side, and pour out fish juice that has accumulated at the bottom of the pan.

    steak, pork, beef
    Kayla Sherman
  • Step 7

    Place pan back in fridge for another 24 hours, and unwrap the fillet after another day has passed.

    fish, meat
    Kayla Sherman
  • Step 8

    Slice off the skin and slice your lox into thin pieces on an angle.

    fish, salmon, seafood, sushi, rice, sashimi, meat
    Kayla Sherman