With a vibrant purple hue and earthy essence derived from beetroot, this recipe elevates your salmon lox to the next level! It’s our favourite kind of recipe; one that sounds super fancy and high effort, but in reality is so simple to make.
This recipe takes three days to cure, but it’s basically a set-and-forget. Open the fridge three days later to a bright purple ring stamped on the edges of this delicious lox, artisanal vibes abound. “Oh my gosh, you really cured this yourself?!” your friends will exclaim in awe.
“It’s really nothing,” you’ll answer humbly. And it’ll be the truth.
MAKES 400g LOX
- 500g skin on salmon fillet
- 1 large beetroot, grated
- 1.5 cups coarse sea salt
- 1.5 cups white sugar
- 1 tbsp. crushed peppercorns
- 1 tbsp. dried dill
- 1 bunch dill chopped
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
In a large bowl, mix all of the curing ingredients except for the salmon until well combined.
Grab a large tray big enough to fit the salmon in. Line a piece of cling wrap vertically and then another piece horizontally so there’s plenty of overhang. You are going to tightly wrap your salmon with the cling wrap so make sure there is enough excess to cover the top.
Layer half the curing mixture on top of the cling wrap and spread it out evenly, then place your salmon skin side down on top. Sprinkle the top of the salmon with the rest of your cure mixture and wrap tightly with the cling wrap.
Place another tray on top and weigh it down with cans or plates, so that the salmon is being squeezed (you want the water in the salmon to be pushed out).
Place in the fridge and leave to cure for 3 days. You will see a fair amount of water come out of the salmon.
After 3 days, discard the water and pat down the salmon with a towel to get the cure mixture off. You can use a wet paper towel if it’s stubborn.
Place the salmon skin side down on the board and slice diagonally, so you get pieces that resemble cured salmon you get from the grocer. Keep slicing until it’s all cut.
Arrange on a plate, with a dill garnish and serve alongside some fresh bagels and cream cheese.
✨ RECIPE NOTES ✨
- Curing: If you have a very small, thin piece of salmon you may be able to get away with a 24 hour cure here (though unlikely). To test this. remove the cure and set aside (you may need to put it back on), slice of a piece from the fattest end and test for doneness. Ideally you want at least 48 hours, and because we like it salty, we left our big piece in for 72 hours and it was perfect!
- Storage: Once cured, the salmon will last in the fridge for 3 days. Or you can freeze it for up to 2 months. Once defrosted, salmon will need to be eaten that same day so freeze in smaller portions you know you’ll use.
- Salmon safety: Use sashimi grade salmon if you can find it as this is prepared to be eaten raw. If you don’t have access or (like us) don’t want to spend the extra money, then freezing your salmon for 7 days prior to starting the recipe does the work of killing any parasites that may be living in non-sushi grade salmon. This just means you have to be a little more organised when making this dish. But it’s worth it! For more on raw salmon safety, click here.