What Is the Difference Between Nova Lox and Smoked Salmon?

If you are a seafood lover, you must have come across the terms Nova lox and smoked salmon. Although both of them are types of salmon, they are not the same. In this article, we will explore the differences between Nova lox and smoked salmon.

What is Nova Lox?

Nova lox is a type of cured salmon that originated in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is made by curing salmon fillets with a mixture of salt, sugar, and sometimes spices like dill or black pepper. The curing process takes about 24 to 48 hours depending on the thickness of the fillet.

Once cured, the salmon is thinly sliced and served cold. It has a delicate texture and a mild flavor that makes it perfect for bagels and cream cheese breakfasts.

What is Smoked Salmon?

Smoked salmon, as its name suggests, is made by smoking raw salmon over wood chips. The smoking process takes several hours and gives the fish a distinct smoky flavor. Smoked salmon can be found in two varieties – hot-smoked and cold-smoked.

Hot-smoked salmon is cooked through during smoking and has a firm texture. It is typically served as an entrรฉe or used in salads.

Cold-smoked salmon, on the other hand, is not cooked during smoking and has a silky texture. It can be served with crackers or used as a topping for bagels with cream cheese.

What are the Differences between Nova Lox and Smoked Salmon?

The main difference between Nova lox and smoked salmon lies in their preparation methods. While Nova lox is cured with salt and sugar, smoked salmon is smoked over wood chips.

In terms of texture, Nova lox has a soft texture while smoked salmon has either firm or silky texture depending on whether it’s hot-smoked or cold-smoked.

Another difference is in their flavor. Nova lox has a mild flavor with a slight saltiness while smoked salmon has a smoky flavor that is stronger in hot-smoked varieties.


In summary, Nova lox and smoked salmon are both types of salmon but differ in their preparation methods, texture, and flavor. If you prefer a milder taste and soft texture, go for Nova lox.

But if you want a more pronounced smoky flavor and firmer texture, smoked salmon is the way to go. Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong with either of these delicious seafood options!

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Emma Gibson