What is Lox? A Guide to this Delicious Smoked Salmon

If you’re a fan of seafood, you may have heard of Lox. This delicious delicacy is a type of smoked salmon that’s become a popular choice for bagels and brunches around the world. But what exactly is Lox? How is it made, and what sets it apart from other types of smoked salmon?

What is Lox made of?

At its core, Lox is made of salmon. Specifically, it’s made from the belly of the salmon, which is known for its rich, buttery texture and flavor. To make Lox, the salmon is cured in a mixture of salt, sugar, and sometimes other ingredients like herbs or spices. This process draws out the moisture from the fish and helps to preserve it.

After curing, the Lox is typically rinsed off to remove any excess salt or sugar. Some types of Lox are then cold-smoked, which gives them a distinct smoky flavor. However, not all Lox is smoked – some types, like gravlax, are simply cured and served without smoking.

Different types of Lox

There are many different types of Lox, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Some of the most common types of Lox include:

  • Nova Lox: This is the most commonly found type of Lox in the United States. Nova Lox is made from Atlantic salmon and is typically cold-smoked to give it a smoky flavor. It has a bright orange color and a firm texture.
  • Gravlax: This type of Lox is typically made with a mixture of salt, sugar, dill, and sometimes other herbs or spices. It’s not smoked, but is still cured to give it a firm texture and delicious flavor.
  • Belly Lox: This type of Lox is made from the belly of the salmon, which is known for its rich, buttery texture. It’s typically cured but not smoked, which gives it a milder flavor than other types of Lox.

Nutritional benefits of Lox

Lox is not only delicious, but it’s also packed with nutritional benefits. Salmon is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. These nutrients can help to support heart health, brain function, and overall wellbeing.

However, it’s important to note that Lox is also high in sodium due to the curing process. For this reason, it’s best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

How to eat Lox

There are many different ways to enjoy Lox. Some popular ways to serve it include:

  • On a bagel: One of the most iconic ways to enjoy Lox is on a bagel with cream cheese. This classic combination is a staple of Jewish cuisine and a popular choice for breakfast or brunch.
  • With scrambled eggs: Lox can also be added to scrambled eggs for a flavorful and protein-packed breakfast.
  • In a salad: Lox can be added to a salad for a delicious and healthy lunch or dinner option.

Lox versus smoked salmon

While Lox and smoked salmon are both types of cured salmon, there are some key differences between the two. One of the main differences is the cut of the fish used. Lox is typically made from the belly of the salmon, while smoked salmon can be made from a variety of cuts.

Another difference is the curing process. Lox is cured in a mixture of salt, sugar, and sometimes other ingredients like herbs or spices, while smoked salmon is typically cured in a dry brine of salt and sometimes sugar. This difference in curing can affect the texture and flavor of the fish.

Smoked salmon is also typically smoked after curing, which gives it a distinct smoky flavor. Lox, on the other hand, may or may not be smoked depending on the type.

How to store and prepare Lox

If you’re planning to enjoy Lox at home, it’s important to store and prepare it properly to ensure maximum flavor and freshness. Here are some tips:

  • Storage: Lox should be stored in the refrigerator at all times. It can be stored in its original packaging or wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Preparation: When preparing Lox, it’s important to slice it thinly against the grain to ensure a tender texture. Lox can be served cold or at room temperature.

Lox in popular culture

Lox has become an iconic part of Jewish cuisine and is a staple of many Jewish delis and bagel shops. It has also made its way into popular culture through films, television shows, and literature.

For example, in the television show Seinfeld, the character Jerry Seinfeld is known for his love of Lox and often orders it on his bagels. Lox has also been featured in films like When Harry Met Sally and The Royal Tenenbaums.

Where to find Lox

If you’re looking to try Lox for yourself, there are many places where you can find it. Some options include:

  • Jewish delis: Many Jewish delis and bagel shops carry Lox.
  • Gourmet food stores: Some gourmet food stores may carry Lox in their seafood or deli sections.
  • Online: You can also order Lox online from specialty food retailers.


Lox is a delicious and nutritious type of smoked salmon that’s enjoyed by seafood lovers around the world. Whether you prefer it on a bagel, in a salad, or on its own, there are many ways to enjoy Lox. And with its rich history and cultural significance, Lox is more than just a food – it’s a part of Jewish culture and a beloved delicacy that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

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