The Secret to the Best Lox

Learn how to select the perfect smoked salmon.

Lox, smoked salmon, gravlax, belly lox — is it all the same? We recently spent time with Peter Shelsky of Shelsky’s in Brooklyn, an appetizing shop preserving the sacred culture of New York Jewish smoked fish. Peter spent time with our contributor Devra Ferst who helped us understand a bit more about the many varieties of smoked salmon you can find at Shelsky’s and other appetizing shops around the country. There are so many, and not all of them are right atop a bagel and cream cheese! Watch the full video below but be warned: Strong smoked salmon cravings may ensue.

Kippered Salmon: Hot smoked salmon which makes an ideal salmon salad; not appropriate on a bagel.

King Salmon: Not fatty, but very buttery. Mild fish flavor and delicious all on its own.

Scottish Salmon: Extremely mild variety of smoked salmon with silky texture. Perfect on a bagel, but also lovely served along as an appetizer or on top of a latke, flatbread or blini.

Eastern Gatsby Nova: This is the what most people think of as “lox” for a bagel and cream cheese.  It has an “assertive” fish flavor and is oily.

Lox Bacon: This is smoked King Salmon bellies, which are luscious and very fatty. Not appropriate on a bagel – better enjoyed as a snack or on the side of other dishes.

Irish Salmon: A saltier smoked salmon.

New Brunswick Salmon: Similar to Nova smoked salmon, with less fishy flavor; perfect on top of a bagel. “The best bang for your buck” according to Peter Shelsky.

Pastrami Smoked Salmon: Peppery flavor.

Belly Lox: Salted cured salmon which is “aggressively salty.” Would make a wonderful hangover cure – not appropriate on a bagel.

Still hungry? To learn more about the different kinds of smoked salmon, read this

Keep on Noshing

New York-Style Bagels Recipe

A perfect recipe from Cooks Illustrated.