Recipe: Dry Cured Roast Salmon (Roasted Lox)

Mar 3, 2013 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Main Course Recipes, Recipes
Dry Cured Roast Salmon on Coos Coos Close Up

Dry Cured Roast Salmon on Coos Coos Close Up

I love dry-cured salmon.  It’s smooth, salty, sweet, and colorful.  You probably know it as lox.  It is very easy to make.  All you do is rub salt and sugar all over it, wrap it up, and put it in the fridge for several days.  The salt and sugar pull the moisture out of the fish, curing it in the process.  Curing is a form of preserving, and is what our ancestors did back in the day to keep their fish longer than they otherwise could.  Curing can be performed dry, or by smoking.  Pretty cool stuff.

The dry curing of yesteryear is what has inspired my recipe today.  But rather than curing the salmon for days and days, I do a quick overnight version (approximately 24 hours), and then roast it in the oven to cook.  The result is a cured tasting fish, with the color and outside texture of being dry-cured, but with the soft and moist center of a roasted fish.  It is a fabulous combination that I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

How to Make a Dry Cure Rub for Fish

This couldn’t be easier.  The hardest part is zesting the lemon.

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup kosher salt
  • zest of one large lemon

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss thoroughly to combine.  Set aside.

Dry Cure Rub for Salmon

Dry Cure Rub for Salmon

 

What Type of Fish is Best for Dry Curing

The answer to that question completely depends on what you have available, what curing method you’re using (dry or smoke), and how many people you plan to serve.  When curing salmon, whenever possible, always choose a wild caught salmon.  Wild fish have a significantly better flavor, color, and cured texture than the farm raised crap you typically see in the store.  For my Dry Cured Roast Salmon recipe, I recommend either wild Coho or Sockeye salmon, which are available in the Spring and then again in the Summer.  Spring run fish will most likely be coming from Washington and Oregon, and summer run fish from Alaska.  Sockeye average between 4-5 pounds, and Coho average about double that at 8 pounds.  This dry cure rub will work for either fish/size, but you may want to double the recipe for the larger coho if you’d like a more pronounced cure flavor (I usually don’t double it though).

Directions for Dry Curing Sockeye and Coho Wild Salmon

To start, you’ll need to first fillet your whole wild salmon.  If you don’t know how to do this, I provide detailed instructions here.

Next, place 1/3 of the curing rub on each flesh side of the salmon fillet, and rub it gently on with your fingers.

Dry Cure Rub on Salmon

Dry Cure Rub on Salmon

Rub Cure Onto Salmon

Rub Cure Onto Salmon

Then, divide the remaining 1/3 of the curing rub in half and rub onto the skin side of each fillet.

Rub Cure Onto Salmon Skin

Rub Cure Onto Salmon Skin

Next, stack the fillets on top of each other, flesh side against each other, and wrap tightly in butcher paper (I use the paper I bought the fish in).  Place in a large plastic bag, wrap up, and place on a baking sheet or a large dish; something that will allow the fish to lay flat and also collect any juices that may escape the bag.  Then place in the refrigerator.

Stack Rubbed Fillets

Stack Rubbed Fillets

Wrap Cured Salmon Tightly in Butcher Paper

Wrap Cured Salmon Tightly in Butcher Paper

Wrap Cured Salmon In Plastic Bag

Wrap Cured Salmon In Plastic Bag

Now, if you want fully cured salmon, like lox, you’ll want to keep the salmon in the refrigerator for about 3 days or so; until dried and firm like the texture of smoked salmon.  But my recipe cuts this process short, only letting it sit for roughly 24 hours.  I do this to keep the inner salmon moist, but this also means that it needs to be cooked.

Cooking Dry Cured Salmon (Lox)

Regular lox doesn’t need to be cooked, as the salt and sugar cure actually preserve the fish and kill off any bacteria, making it safe for human consumption.  But my roasted partially cured salmon does, and is absolutely amazing.  It is the perfect combination of dry cured flavor and moist roasted technique.  Give it a try.  You’ll fall in love with it.

When you pull your dry cured salmon out of the refrigerator, you will notice that there are a lot of juices that have run out of the butcher paper.  That’s what you’re looking for.  You’ll want to rinse that off, otherwise the salmon will be too salty/sugary to be enjoyable.  To do this, just run the fillets briefly under running water to just barely rinse some of the cure off.  A single pass under the water should be enough.

Salmon Curing Juices

Salmon Curing Juices

Rinse Cured Salmon

Rinse Cured Salmon

Then, put the partially cured salmon fillets on a baking sheet, and place in the center rack of your oven.  Broil on high for 10 minutes, then move to the top rack and broil on high for another 2 minutes, or until slightly charred on the edges.  Serve warm or cold; either is delicious.  It is great with crackers and a dill cream cheese, or just served as on a bed of roasted vegetable coos coos.

Recipe by Jothan Yeager, July 19, 2008

 

Dry Cured Roast Salmon on Coos Coos

Dry Cured Roast Salmon on Coos Coos

 

The Bald Gourmet shares his recipe for Dry Cured Roast Salmon.  Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Dry Cured Roast Salmon (Roasted Lox)
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

This quick overnight version of lox is roasted in the oven to cook after curing. The result is a cured tasting fish, with the color and outside texture of being dry-cured, but with the soft and moist center of a roasted fish. It is a fabulous combination that I hope you enjoy as much as I do. This recipe couldn’t be easier. The hardest part is zesting the lemon!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser, Main Course

Ingredients
  • 1 5-8 pound wild salmon, filleted
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅛ cup kosher salt
  • zest of one large lemon

Instructions
  1. Place brown sugar, kosher salt, and lemon zest in a bowl and toss thoroughly to combine into a rub.
  2. Place ⅓ of the curing rub on each flesh side of the salmon fillet, and rub it gently on with your fingers.
  3. Divide the remaining ⅓ of the curing rub in half and rub onto the skin side of each fillet.
  4. Stack the fillets on top of each other, flesh side against each other, and wrap tightly in butcher paper (I use the paper I bought the fish in). Place in a large plastic bag, wrap up, and place on a baking sheet or a large dish; something that will allow the fish to lay flat and also collect any juices that may escape the bag. Then place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  5. Remove the dry cured salmon out of the refrigerator. You will notice that there are a lot of juices that have run out of the butcher paper. That’s what you’re looking for. You’ll want to rinse that off, otherwise the salmon will be too salty/sugary to be enjoyable. To do this, just run the fillets briefly under running water to just barely rinse some of the cure off. A single pass under the water should be enough.
  6. Put the partially cured salmon fillets on a baking sheet, and place in the center rack of your oven. Broil on high for 10 minutes, then move to the top rack and broil on high for another 2 minutes, or until slightly charred on the edges.
  7. Serve warm or cold; either is delicious. It is great with crackers and a dill cream cheese, or just served as on a bed of roasted vegetable coos coos.

Notes
When curing salmon, whenever possible, always choose a wild caught salmon. Wild fish have a significantly better flavor, color, and cured texture than the farm raised crap you typically see in the store. For this recipe, I recommend either wild Coho or Sockeye salmon, which are available in the Spring and then again in the Summer. Spring run fish will most likely be coming from Washington and Oregon, and summer run fish from Alaska. Sockeye average between 4-5 pounds, and Coho average about double that at 8 pounds. This dry cure rub will work for either fish/size. If you want fully cured salmon, like lox, you’ll want to keep the salmon in the refrigerator for about 3 days or so; until dried and firm like the texture of smoked salmon. But my recipe cuts this process short, only letting it sit for roughly 24 hours. I do this to keep the inner salmon moist, but this also means that it needs to be cooked. Regular lox doesn’t need to be cooked, as the salt and sugar cure actually preserve the fish and kill off any bacteria, making it safe for human consumption. But this roasted partially cured salmon does, and is absolutely amazing. It is the perfect combination of dry cured flavor and moist roasted technique. Give it a try. You’ll fall in love with it.

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I'm Jothan Yeager and I am The Bald Gourmet. After years of experimenting in my kitchen, creating delicious food and eating at amazing places around the world, I wanted a place to share my experiences with everyone. Thus the Bald Gourmet was born. I hope to open the doors of great food and great cooking to you, to inspire you to reach beyond prepared boxed meals, and to teach you of a world of deliciousness that has brought joy to me and those around me. Please enjoy the adventure which is The Bald Gourmet and share it with those you love.

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