Whip up a speedy and amazing brunch with this Smoked Salmon Bagel (also known as lox) recipe. Elevate it with herb-infused cream cheese for a spectacular breakfast, brunch, or lunch.
Smoked Salmon on Bagel
When you're in the mood for a relaxed weekend brunch or a lunch with deli-style flair, smoked salmon is the star! Nothing beats a fantastic Smoked Salmon Bagel (or lox, with a few subtle differences). It's a dance of bold flavors: homemade herbed cream cheese meets smoky, buttery salmon, while fragrant dill counters tangy capers. And of course, it's all cushioned in a fluffy, toasted bagel.
👨🍳 Tips for Making the Bagel Sandwich
- Toast your bagels. It adds a fantastic crunch and elevates the overall taste! While they can be enjoyed untoasted, this step really enhances the experience.
- Ensure the cream cheese is softened. Allowing it to reach room temperature (about 30 minutes out of the fridge) ensures even and smooth blending.
- Opt for freshly squeezed lemon juice over bottled. It offers a zesty, vibrant flavor and packs more nutrients.
- Choose the freshest ingredients. Invest in top-notch ingredients for an exceptional sandwich experience.
✅ Ingredients for Smoked Salmon Bagels
- Toasted Bagels: Opt for fresh, high-quality bagels. You can choose your favorite type, whether plain, whole wheat, sesame, or everything bagels.
- Full Fat Cream Cheese: Use regular or low-fat cream cheese. For added flavor, consider using flavored cream cheese like herb and garlic.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice provides a zesty brightness that complements the richness of the cream cheese and salmon.
- Fresh Parsley: Finely chopped parsley adds a fresh herbal element to the cream cheese spread. You can also use dill or chives for a different flavor profile.
- Salt and Black Pepper: Adjust these seasonings to your taste. They enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
- Avocado: Ensure the avocado is ripe but still firm for easy slicing.
- Smoked Salmon Slices: Look for high-quality smoked salmon with a smooth, buttery texture. Cold-smoked salmon or lox works best for this recipe.
- Capers: These small, briny flower buds add a burst of salty and tangy flavor.
- Fresh Dill: Optional but highly recommended for garnish. It adds a fragrant, herby aroma that complements the salmon beautifully.
🔪 How to Make Smoked Salmon Bagel Sandwich
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, lemon juice, fresh parsley, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Arrange the ingredients on the bagel in this order: begin with the bottom bagel slice, then spread herb cream cheese mixture, add avocado, salmon, capers, a touch of dill, and finally, crown it with the remaining bagel slice.
- Separate Ingredients (if possible): If your bagels, smoked salmon, and avocado are separate, it's best to store them individually to maintain freshness.
- Wrap Smoked Salmon: If the smoked salmon is in a package that has been opened, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Make sure to press out as much air as possible to prevent oxidation.
- Store Avocado Properly: If you've sliced the avocado, keep the pit in one half and wrap the other tightly with plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can sprinkle lemon juice on the exposed flesh to prevent browning.
- Avoid Pre-assembly: We recommend not to assemble the entire bagel sandwich in advance, as the moisture from the avocado can make the bagel soggy.
- Refrigerate Separately: Place the wrapped smoked salmon and avocado in separate airtight containers or resealable bags.
- Keep Cold: Store in the refrigerator at a temperature below 40°F (4°C). The smoked salmon and avocado should be used within 1-2 days.
- Assemble Just Before Eating: When you're ready to enjoy your Smoked Salmon Bagels, take out the ingredients from the refrigerator and assemble the bagel sandwich. This will ensure the bagel stays fresh and the avocado doesn't brown too much.
Lox and smoked salmon are quite alike, but they have a small difference. Lox is soaked in salt or cured, which makes it mostly taste salty. Smoked salmon, on the other hand, is also soaked in salt or cured, but then it gets smoked. This gives it a smoky flavor. The smoking part and the flavor it adds are what make them a bit different.
Cold smoked salmon, or lox, is preserved using a mixture of salt and sugar. Hot smoked salmon gets a flavor boost from a blend of spices and sugar, then it's cooked with heat and wood chips.
Put together these bagels just before eating. You can make the cream cheese a day or two earlier, and store it covered in the fridge. It's generally best not to assemble the entire bagel sandwich in advance, as the moisture from the avocado can make the bagel soggy.
You can choose any toppings you enjoy! Consider adding red onion, cucumber, or a poached egg.
Egg Addition: Top with a poached or soft-boiled egg for extra protein and a rich, velvety texture.
Spicy Kick: Sprinkle red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for those who like a bit of heat.
Veggie Extravaganza: Layer on crisp lettuce, juicy tomato slices, or crunchy cucumber for added freshness and crunch.
Everything Bagel Magic: Use an everything bagel for an extra burst of flavor with its blend of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, and onion.
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