Get the authentic taste of a New York City deli with this smoked salmon bagel – or, as it’s better known, “bagel and lox” – a nova lox bagel made using salmon with lemon and capers.
Bagels and lox traditionally consist of cream cheese and salmon and plenty of delicious though optional toppings. Covering the salmon with dill and capers, this lox sandwich is believed to have been created by the Jewish communities who emigrated to New York in the 19th century.
A lox bagel is a classic brunch favorite, but my smoked salmon bagel recipe can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It’s also an easily customizable salmon bagel recipe. A delicious, authentic salmon bagel is easy to make and packed full of Omega-3-rich smoked salmon with capers and lemon, cream cheese, and slices of onion.
What Is a Lox Bagel
Typically eaten for breakfast or brunch, a lox bagel recipe generally includes just a few simple ingredients. Believed to have been created in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, both the lox and bagels were introduced to Americans by Jewish immigrants who sold their creations in delis and restaurants. A lox cream cheese bagel is then topped with briny capers and slices of red onions and sprinkled with dill and seasoning.
Lox Bagel Ingredients
- Bagels: Use your favorite fresh bagels for this bagel and lox recipe, but remember some compliment the savory flavor better than others. I often make my New York-style bagels at home.
- Lox: Lox is treated a certain way which gives it a different taste from a traditional smoked salmon bagel. If you can’t get a hold of lox, smoked salmon works just as well for locs and bagels.
- Cucumber: You can swap out with deli pickles if you prefer, but I find cucumber brings lots of fresh flavor without overpowering a salmon cream cheese bagel.
- Cream cheese: Plain cream cheese is best. I love making my own cream cheese at home but you can buy it from the grocery store.
- Red onion: You can use white or spring onions, scallions, or even chives if you prefer.
- Fresh dill: You can use dried dill if you don’t have fresh to hand. Or you can use your favorite fresh herbs.
- Capers: Salmon and capers are a match made in bagel heaven. If you don’t have capers, you can substitute them with kalamata olives, caviar, or even deli pickles.
- Salt and Pepper: to taste.
- Drizzle lemon juice to taste.
Lox Vs Smoked Salmon
There is a small but significant difference between smoked salmon and lox – and it’s all about the smoke. To create the main ingredient for a bagel with lox, the slices of fish are cured and brined, but not cold smoked. Smoked salmon goes through the same process but then is further smoked. Salt cured salmon, the core ingredient of a cream cheese lox bagel is made from the belly of the salmon.
The Best Bagel for Lox Sandwich
I find plain white is the best bagel for salmon with capers and dill, but many delis use a variety of options, including wholewheat and everything bagels.
How to Make a Lox Bagel Sandwich
There are just a couple of quick steps to make the bagel lox cream cheese sandwich.
Thinly slice the cucumber and onion, then chop the dill. If preferred, slice in two and toast your bagel.
Gather your lox, cream cheese, toppings, and bagel, and assemble. Slather the open faces of the bagel with cream cheese. Arrange the cucumbers on top, then layer over the lox. Add a few slices of onion, then sprinkle the dill and capers, then squeeze over some lemon juice.
You can serve the lox bagel open, or place the second, cream-cheese-covered half over the top and serve sandwich-style. One bagel will make two halves or one whole bagel sandwich.
How Long Can You Store Bagels and Lox
When properly wrapped, bagels and lochs can last in the fridge for up to a day but are best enjoyed immediately. Make sure it’s tightly wrapped to stop it from getting soggy.
How to Serve Bagels and Lox
This brined salmon bagel is great for on the go – especially when served sandwich-style – or for a delicious breakfast or lunch.
One of my favorite ways to serve bagels and lox is as part of a bagel bar/bagel board (or a charcuterie board). Your guests will love this great idea for Sunday brunch. You can offer savory or sweet toppings alongside lox, smoked salmon, and cream cheese. I love serving cured meats, cheese, eggs, tomato slices, radish, other veggies, avocado, olives, flavored cream cheese, other spreads, Everything Bagel seasoning, sesame seed or poppy seed, peanut butter, jam, berries, cinnamon sugar, and honey.
If you try this bagel with cream cheese and salmon recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below. And feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
The Best Lox Bagel
- 1 bagel plain or your preferred
- 2.1 oz lox or smoked salmon, 2-4 slices
- 2.1 oz cream cheese 2 Tbsp
- 1 oz cucumber 1/2 small, just a few slices
- 0.35 oz red onion about 1/4 medium onion
- 0.07 oz dill or to taste
- 1 teaspoon capers or to taste
- 1/2 lemon just a drizzle
- Thinly slice the cucumber and onion, then chop the dill. If preferred, slice in two and toast your bagel.
- Gather your lox, cream cheese, toppings, and bagel, and assemble. Slather the open faces of the bagel with cream cheese. Arrange the cucumbers on top, then layer over the lox. Add a few slices of onion, then sprinkle the dill and capers, then squeeze over some lemon juice.
- You can serve the lox bagel open, or place the second, cream-cheese-covered half over the top and serve sandwich-style. One bagel will make two halves or one whole bagel sandwich.Bagels and lox can last in the fridge for up to a day but are best enjoyed immediately. Make sure it's tightly wrapped to stop it from getting soggy.
- Use deli pickles instead of cucumber.
- Plain cream cheese is best for this sandwich but use flavored if preferred.
- Instead of red onion, you can use white onion, spring onion, scallions, or chives.
- Use your preferred fresh herbs instead of dill. Or use dried herbs.
- Instead of capers, you can use kalamata olives, caviar, or deli pickles.