Twice-Smoked Salmon on a Bagel Recipe
My wife and I eat salmon on a regular basis. I know there are health benefits to eating salmon, but I like it because it tastes good, and it can be prepared in a myriad of ways. My sister-in-law and my niece introduced me to salmon on a bagel a few years ago. I have no idea if it was lox, gravlax, or Nova lox, but I know it was delicious!
The different names reflect how the salmon is prepared or where it originates. Nova Scotia salmon is called Nova lox and cured with a brine and cold-smoked. The Scottish-style salmon is dry-brined, rinsed, and then cold-smoked. Gravlax, the traditional Nordic preparation, is where the salmon is immersed in combination of spices and salt for dry-curing, and possibly smoked.
Holy Grail Steak company sent me their New Zealand freshwater salmon for my latest experiment. Thank you!
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My wife and wanted something special Easter morning, so I thought that would be the perfect time to try my twice-smoked salmon. Here is how it all came together.
Smoked Salmon on a Bagel Recipe
I started by setting up my kettle grill for smoke-roasting (indirect grilling) and heating it to 400 degrees. While I waited for the grill to heat up, I prepared the salmon. I started by cutting a pocket in the side of the salmon fillet and stuffing it with whipped cream cheese and a piece of smoked salmon. I pinned the salmon fillet closed with toothpicks. Next, I seasoned the salmon with “everything bagel” seasoning. I selected whipped cream cheese since it is easier to spread.
To create wood smoke, I added 2 wood chunks to the coals as I placed the salmon fillets in the center of the grill. The salmon smoke-roasted until it reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer.
How the bagel is assembled is a personal choice, but here is how I like to do it. The first time I put salmon on a bagel, I put all the fixings on top of the salmon. Predictably, the fixings fell off the bagel and made a mess. Now, I like to use the cream cheese to hold the onion and capers in place and top with the salmon. In addition to squeezing a lemon wedge over the salmon, I like to drip some of the caper juice on top. Lastly, I topped it all with the top of the bagel and sliced it in half to create a sandwich.
The salmon was seasoned with “everything bagel” spice, so I used “everything” bagels that I bought fresh that morning at a local bagel shop. It was my first “everything” bagel, but definitely not my last.
Smoked salmon on a bagel is now one of my favorite breakfast indulgences. I enjoy the freshness of the lemon, the crunch of the red onion, and the briny, salty taste of the capers and how it contrasts with the buttery richness of the salmon. The freshwater salmon from Holy Grail Steak was outstanding. The “everything” spice added nice texture and flavor to the smoky salmon. The grilled bagel was crusty outside and fresh and soft inside. I normally like to eat a bagel with salmon open-faced, but creating a sandwich held everything inside and allowed me to enjoy each tasty element in one bite.
I realize most people put cold salmon on their bagels, but the warm grilled salmon worked well. It created the feel of a hot breakfast sandwich without the heaviness of eggs, cheese, and meat.
If you are not ready for salmon for breakfast, here are a variety of delicious ways to grill or smoke your next piece of salmon.
- Salmon Candy
- Salmon with Maple-Mustard Glaze
- Planked Salmon with Mustard-Dill Glaze
- Scotch Whiskey-Smoked Salmon