Smoked salmon is a true delicacy. It’s flaky, smoky and a flexible main ingredient for a variety of dishes. Often, it is thinly sliced and served on bagels with cream cheese or on Melba toast with sliced red onion, lemon and capers. You’ll also find smoked salmon in patés, quiches, pasta sauces and even scrambled eggs. There are five main forms of smoked salmon, and they vary in terms of both appearance and flavor, stemming from the different curing processes used.

Five Main Types of Smoked Salmon

Here’s a brief overview of the 5 main kinds of smoked salmon:

  1. Lox. Lox is actually not smoked, but salmon that’s been cured in salt for a few months. Not surprisingly, it’s the saltiest of the four types. It’s thinly sliced and popular to eat with bagels and cream cheese.
  2. Gravlax. Another type of cured salmon that isn’t smoked, Gravlax is cured in salt plus sugar, herbs (often dill) and alcohol. Frequently it comes with a border of the brine mixture.
  3. Nova (or Nova Lox). Traditionally, Nova Lox is made with salmon from Nova Scotia that is brined in salt water, then cold smoked. It’s less salty than lox or gravlax, and has a mild smoky flavor.
  4. Cold Smoked Salmon. Salmon is cured in a salty brine, then cold smoked. This type of smoked salmon resembles Nova Lox in both appearance and flavor.
  5. Hot Smoked Salmon. A more meaty cut of salmon is cured in a salty brine, then hot smoked. It has the strongest smoky flavor of the five types.

For more information, check out these posts:

Recipes with Smoked Salmon to Try

rolled pieces of smoked salmon on a white platter with dill and a lemon slice

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.

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