Distinguishing Lox & Smoked Salmon

Lox and smoked salmon are often discussed as if they are the same thing, but in reality, they are two different products with various similarities. Both are made from salmon found in the Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean, but their preparation and recipes differ. The confusion between the two is likely due to terms like “Nova lox” and “Nova salmon” being used interchangeably.

Smoked Salmon

Salmon is a beloved fish worldwide, not just for its delicious taste but also for its nutritional value, containing minerals and fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6. Smoked salmon is a popular dish made from a boneless part of the fish that has been smoked and cured. The preparation involves brining the fish and then smoking it, either hot or cold. Cold-smoked salmon is more popular as it retains the fish’s oils and creates a unique flavor. Smoked salmon can be served with bagels and cheese or incorporated into pasta dishes.


Lox is a fillet of salmon that has been brined in a salt and sugar solution, cured, and then served with bagels and cheese. It is also enjoyed with scrambled eggs or as a filling for canap├ęs. The word “lox” is believed to come from the German word “Lachs,” meaning salmon. The Scandinavian word for salmon is “Lax.” American lox is salted but un-smoked salmon. There are various types of lox, such as Regular Lox, Scottish Lox, Nova Lox, and Gravlax. In America, the dish “Bagel with Lox” uses smoked salmon rather than lox, adding to the confusion.

Key Takeaways

  • Lox is a fillet of salmon that has been brined but not smoked, while smoked salmon has been hot or cold smoked after curing.
  • Lox originates from the German word “Lachs,” meaning salmon, and has various types such as Regular Lox, Scottish Lox, Nova Lox, and Gravlax.
  • The American dish “Bagel with Lox” actually uses smoked salmon, not lox, which contributes to the confusion between the two products.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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