Gefilte Fish recipe or stuffed fish is a dish made popular by Ashkenazi Jewish households and served during festivals like Passover and Rosh Hashanah. Gefilte fish is a dish that is made of filleted groundfish such as carp, pike, and/or whitefish. This is then combined with matzah meal, egg, and seasonings, after which it is either boiled or baked. Originally before the 16th century, the groundfish was then stuffed back into the intact skin of the whole fish. Thus the origin of the name ‘gefilte’, which is the Yiddish word for stuff.
Gefilte Fish Ingredients:
For The Fish stock:
- 4 cups Fish stock or fish bones with water
- 2 sprigs of Parsley
- ½ cup Onion finely chopped
- ½ cup Carrots finely chopped
- 1 tsp Salt
- 10 Peppercorns
- ½ tsp Fennel seeds
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 Lemon sliced
For The Fish cakes:
- 2 lbs Fish fillets ground up
- 1 cup Onion
- 2 Boiled eggs
- 2 Fresh eggs
- ¾ cups Matzo meal
- 5 tbsp Sugar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 cups grated Horseradish
- 1 cup grated Raw Beet
- ¼ cup White vinegar
- 3 tbsp Sugar
Directions for Gefilte Fish recipe:
- In a wide pot add the fish bones, water, and all the stock ingredients such as carrots, onions, fennel, parsley, etc. you can also substitute the fish bones with fish broth.
- Now cover and simmer on medium-low for 1 hour if using fish broth and ½ hr more if using fish bones. Once it has simmered, drain and discard all other vegetables but save the carrots for garnish.
Groundfish And Egg Mixture
- Take a food processor and pulse the fish (without bones) for 2 minutes to make groundfish and set it aside.
- In the same food processor, pulse onions for a minute. Then add the parsley, boiled eggs, salt, and pepper until it is fine but not smooth. The fish cakes are easier to shape if there is some texture.
Shape The Fish Cakes
- Take a large bowl and add in all the fish cake ingredients such as groundfish, onion mixture, matzo meal, eggs, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Combine the mixture well but do not over mix. If the mixture is too stiff the cakes will be hard, so add a few tbsp of water to the mixture if needed
- Wet your hands with water to prevent the fish mixture from sticking to your hands and Take small portions of the mixture and shape it into an oval. The way to do this is to roll the mixture into a ball and then shape it into an oval.
- The shaped fish cakes can be kept in the fridge until the stock is ready.
Cook The Fish Cakes
- Once the fish broth is ready, reduce the heat to low so that the broth is at a gentle simmer.
- Gently place the fish cakes into the broth one at a time.
- Once all the fish cakes are in, cover it with a lid. Cook the broth on a medium-low simmer for one and half hours.
- After an hour and a half, the fish cakes will be cooked and will have turned white. Use a slotted spoon to remove them to a shallow serving platter.
- The remaining stock can be used as soup
- Pour some of the fish stock over the fish cakes to keep them moist. Garnish with sliced carrots and a parsley leaf.
- Place in the fridge for a few hours to chill. They can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week.
- Serve it cold with beet horseradish.
Make The Beet Horseradish
- Wash, peel, and grate the horseradish and beets in a bowl.
- Add in the vinegar, salt, and sugar and mix well
- Pour it into a mason jar and keep it in the fridge until it is ready to serve. This can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- The horseradish tends to get more intense in flavor the longer it is kept so if you like it spicy, prepare it a few days ahead. If not, make it on the day you want to serve it.
If the smell of fish is overwhelming after preparing this dish, place a pot of water with chopped lemon and a few cinnamon sticks and let it boil on low heat for at least an hour, it will remove the fishy smell completely from the house.
Gefilte fish is a traditional Jewish dish that is made from a mixture of ground fish and seasonings. With its delicate flavor and tender texture, this dish is both delicious and satisfying. Whether you’re serving it for a holiday meal or just want to try something new, Gefilte fish is a delicious and unique dish that is sure to impress. So why not give it a try and see why it has become such a beloved dish in Jewish cuisine.