Looking for a delicious addition to this week’s menu? Smoked salmon is a versatile classic that can brighten up a dish. First, customers have a decision to make between thin sliced smoked salmon, sliced nova lox, or buying a salmon fillet to slice and prepare at home.
Some purists suggest buying a salmon fillet and cutting it yourself. This method allows the customer to decide how big or small the slices will be, thus customizing their smoked salmon experience. However, cutting the salmon fillet into thin smoked salmon slices yourself is a ton of work. Trimming away the fat and making the perfect cut over and over again can be a laborious process.
Another reason to buy thin sliced smoked salmon is that the way the salmon is cut matters. Slices can typically be custom-ordered as fatty or lean. Lean cuts are thin sliced smoked salmon, and their thinness is a huge part of their appeal. Customers should look for a smooth cut, no rough edges or cracked salmon meat. The best cuts will have absolutely no vertebrae.
Thin sliced smoked salmon will often cost a fraction more than un-sliced fillets. Investing a bit more in the sliced salmon will save time and effort down the line. Ordering thin sliced smoked salmon preservers flavor and keeps the process stress-free.
How to Slice Salmon at Home
If you would like to tackle the challenge of foregoing pre-sliced salmon and trying to slice salmon at home, here is a simple guide: trim away belly fat, remove the skin, slice away from yourself with the blade parallel to the table or counter beneath the fish.
A good rule of thumb is: the thinner the better! The width should be almost paper thin and as big as possible. If you have chosen to cut the salmon on your own, a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the knife through the salmon as you cut it. Thin sliced smoked salmon is typically served layered, so aim for a layer-friendly width. If the salmon is sliced too thickly, the flavor can become washed out and it can make the texture much softer than the typical firm or flaky consistency.
Enjoying Sliced Salmon
The thin sliced smoked salmon that tops a Saturday morning bagel is usually cold-smoked salmon, or smoked nova lox. A popular East coast delicacy (hot smoked salmon rules the West coast), cold smoked salmon has a silky texture and light smoky flavor. It is first dry cured in salt, then smoked at temperatures lower than 90°F. These low-heat conditions allow the cold smoked salmon to maintain its nearly raw texture and delicate flavor. Grab some bagels and cream cheese to try this timeless combination.
Another type of smoked salmon is hot smoked salmon, which is best used in dishes like quiche, soup, dips, omelets, or tarts. If you are purchasing salmon to make one of these dishes, it might be easier to start with sliced salmon, though it is not necessary.
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