Classic Lox

  • PrepTime: 20 Mins
  • CookTime: 0 Mins
  • TotalTime: 20 Mins


  1. 4-pound salmon fillet (preferably the thick belly section)
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1/3 cup Kosher salt
  4. 2 teaspoons mixed black, white and red peppercorns (coarsely ground)
  5. 3 juniper berries
  6. 2 cups fresh dill (stalks removed, finely chopped)
  7. Optional: Chili pepper flakes


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Cut the salmon fillet into two halves cutting across the piece. 
  3. In a bowl, mix the sugar, salt, peppercorns, chili (if using), juniper berries, and dill.
  4. Place one half of the salmon, skin side down, onto a long sheet of plastic wrap. Cover the flesh of the salmon with the sugar, salt, and pepper mix. Place the second fillet flesh side down on top to create a "salmon sandwich". Wrap the fish pieces tightly in the plastic wrap.
  5. Put the " salmon sandwich" into a shallow baking dish, making sure the fish stands higher than the sides of the pan. Place a baking tray on top of the salmon and weigh it down with any heavy object, like canned beans, rice bags, or heavy books (covered in plastic wrap to avoid passing on fish smells).
  6. Put the fish into the refrigerator and leave it to cure for 3 to 4 days, turning the salmon twice a day or at least once every day. If there is any accumulated liquid, pour it out and change the plastic wrap.
  7. When ready to serve, remove the wrap, pour away any liquid and wipe away most of the sugar, salt, and peppercorns, leaving a little on the edges for decoration. Slice as desired: thin for bagels, thick if it's meant to be a main course.
  8. The lox will keep well in the refrigerator for five days. If you bought frozen salmon or froze it before curing, do not refreeze. 
  9. Enjoy!


  1. Add Alcohol: Vodka, gin, Pastis, or Pernod are delicious ingredients to add to your cure mix. One to 2 tablespoons will add a lovely back note of flavor.
  2. Enhance the Color: Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw, finely grated beetroot to the cure mix. It will turn the salmon a glorious pink-red color which is stunning on the plate.
  3. Change the Spice: Switch out the juniper for coriander seed, fennel (seed or fronds) or other spice you'd like.