Smoked salmon, lox, Nova lox. The difference between these terms can be a little confusing, but one thing is for sure… they all taste great on a bagel! Lox refers to salmon that has been cured in a saltwater brine, while smoked salmon has become a somewhat generic term used to describe any salmon that has been cured and/or cold or hot smoked. According to purists, lox should always be made from salmon belly, which is the richest and most fatty area of the fish. Nova lox earned their name from Nova Scotia; they tend to be processed in a saltwater brine and cold smoked, differentiating them from plain old brined lox.
This whole lox thing started as a way of preserving fish for long periods of time. Scandinavians and Germans brought the process to America during the 1800s. The cured salmon soon became known as “lox” which was an Americanized version of the Yiddish “laks.” At the turn of the 20th century, American Jews began lightly brining their salmon and cold smoking it. Cold smoking occurs at a temperature somewhere between 72 and 80 degrees F. It does not cook the fish, but instead imparts a mild, smoky flavor. This variety was most popular throughout the delis of the East Coast.
Like many folks, I adore thinly sliced smoked salmon on a toasted bagel with cream cheese. But why stop there? There are many ways to enjoy this salty, flavorful treat. Lately I’ve been scrambling smoked salmon pieces with eggs, goat cheese, and a little fresh dill. Scrumptious! Serve it with a little sour cream or labaneh cheese on the side… sounds weird, I know, but trust me it’s the best. I’m officially addicted, and have enjoyed this combination for breakfast and brinner several times over the past few weeks. And yes, in case you’re wondering, it can also be made with plain cured lox. Enjoy!
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- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp milk or water
- 1 tbsp butter
- Heaping 1/3 cup (2 oz) sliced smoked salmon cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup (1 3/4 oz) goat cheese crumbles
- 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Labaneh cheese or sour cream (optional)
You will also need
- Nonstick skillet
- Scramble the eggs with a whisk or fork in a bowl along with the milk or water for at least 60 seconds, until well mixed, light and fluffy.
- Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt butter in the skillet, swirling it around to coat the skillet with a thin layer of butter.
- Add smoked salmon pieces to the skillet and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Turn heat down to medium low. Add eggs, goat cheese and fresh dill to the skillet.
- Keep the heat on medium/medium low, you don't want to rush it here-- if the skillet is too hot the eggs will cook too quickly and become rubbery. Once you pour the eggs in they will begin to cook immediately. Using a spatula (I use a wooden spatula so I won't damage my nonstick coating), begin pulling the cooked outer edges in towards the center of the eggs. Uncooked eggs will flood the area you just pulled back. Move the spatula around the edge of the skillet, pulling the cooked edges towards the center and re-flooding repeatedly. Cooked scrambled eggs will gather in the center of the skillet.
- At a certain point, the uncooked eggs will no longer flood and the scramble will all collect in the center of the skillet, but it will still be slightly runny in texture. Begin breaking up the scramble; quickly turn undercooked areas and keep the scramble moving to make sure that all surfaces cook evenly. Never leave a surface in contact too long with the skillet or it will become overcooked.
- Turn off the heat when the eggs are 90% cooked. When the eggs are done, serve immediately. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste-- the smoked salmon is salty already, so taste before you season.
- Serve with a little sour cream or labaneh cheese on the side (optional). Enjoy!
Marks, Gil. Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010. Print.