Gefilte Fish I Recipe - Traditional Israeli Dish

Gefilte Fish I

Gefilte Fish I Recipe - Traditional Israeli Dish
Region / culture: Israel | Preparation time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes | Servings: 12


Gefilte Fish I
Gefilte Fish I

Gefilte fish is a traditional Jewish dish that consists of ground fish, typically pike and carp, formed into oval-shaped patties and poached in a broth. This dish is often served as an appetizer during Jewish holidays and celebrations.


Gefilte fish has its origins in Eastern Europe, where it was originally made by stuffing a fish skin with a mixture of ground fish, onions, and spices. Over time, the recipe evolved to the version we know today, with the fish mixture formed into patties and poached in a flavorful broth.


How to prepare

  1. Rinse the bones and heads.
  2. Put them into a wide enamel-lined heavy Dutch oven.
  3. Add 3 sliced onions, 4 sliced shallots, celery, carrots, parsnip, parsley, herbs, and lemon zest.
  4. Add wine and water and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to simmering, cover, and let it cook for 1 hour.
  6. Using a fine sieve, strain the mixture into a large bowl. Set aside some carrot slices and discard the solids.
  7. Pour the broth back into the pot and set it aside.
  8. Cut the remaining onion into 1" pieces and halve the shallots.
  9. Place them in a food processor.
  10. Rinse the fish and check for any remaining bones. Cut the fish into 2" pieces.
  11. Add the fish to the processor along with the spices, parsley, and half of the salt.
  12. Process for 30 seconds and then add 1 whole egg and 1 egg white.
  13. Let the mixture stand while whipping the remaining egg whites until firm peaks form. Set aside.
  14. With the processor running, pour seltzer into the machine.
  15. Process for 15 seconds, scrape the mixture into a large bowl.
  16. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp of matzo meal and blend.
  17. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
  18. Cover and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  19. Bring the broth to a boil.
  20. Add the remaining 0.5 tsp of salt.
  21. Using moistened hands and a moistened spoon, shape the chilled mixture into 12 ovals and lower them into the hot broth as they're formed.
  22. Reduce the heat to a steady slow boil.
  23. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, spooning the ovals with broth after they've cooked for 10 minutes. Each piece will puff up and rise to the top.
  24. Partially uncover and let it cool in the pot for 30 minutes.
  25. Add the reserved carrots to the broth.
  26. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or carefully transfer each piece to container(s) and pour stock over all.
  27. Tightly cover and refrigerate.
  28. The broth will thicken when chilled.
  29. If you prefer jelled broth, add 1 package.


  • Some variations of gefilte fish include adding different herbs and spices to the fish mixture, or using different types of fish such as whitefish or trout.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to remove any bones from the fish before grinding it in the food processor.

- Chilling the fish mixture in the freezer before shaping it into patties helps the gefilte fish hold its shape during cooking.

- Spooning the patties with broth while they cook helps to keep them moist and flavorful.

Serving Suggestions

Gefilte fish is traditionally served cold with horseradish and beet horseradish on the side. It can also be served with a side of pickled vegetables.

Cooking Techniques

The key cooking technique for gefilte fish is poaching the fish patties in a flavorful broth until they are cooked through.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you cannot find pike or carp, you can use other types of white fish such as cod or haddock. Matzo meal can be substituted with breadcrumbs.

Make Ahead Tips

Gefilte fish can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the gefilte fish with fresh parsley or lemon slices for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Gefilte fish pairs well with a crisp white wine or a cold beer.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover gefilte fish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently warm the fish patties in the broth on the stovetop.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of gefilte fish contains approximately 200 calories.


Each serving of gefilte fish contains approximately 5 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of gefilte fish contains approximately 6 grams of fats.


Each serving of gefilte fish contains approximately 15 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Gefilte fish is a good source of vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorus.


Gefilte fish contains fish and eggs, which may be allergens for some individuals.


Gefilte fish is a nutritious dish that is high in proteins and low in carbohydrates. It is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals.


Gefilte fish is a traditional Jewish dish that is both delicious and nutritious. With the right ingredients and cooking techniques, you can create a flavorful dish that is sure to impress your guests.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is etched in my memory like a beautiful melody that never fades. It was a sunny afternoon in the bustling market of Jerusalem, where the aroma of fresh herbs and spices lingered in the air. As I strolled through the vibrant stalls, my eyes were drawn to a small, weathered book nestled among a pile of old cookbooks.

Curiosity piqued, I picked up the book and flipped through its pages, my fingers tracing the faded letters of recipes passed down through generations. And there it was, the recipe for Gefilte Fish. The name itself sounded exotic and mysterious, like a secret waiting to be discovered.

I purchased the book from the kind old vendor who assured me that the recipe was a family treasure, handed down from her grandmother to her. With a heart full of excitement, I hurried home to try my hand at making this traditional dish.

As I gathered the ingredients - fresh fish, onions, carrots, and a medley of herbs - I could almost hear the whispers of generations past guiding me through the process. The rhythmic chopping of vegetables, the gentle simmering of the broth, the delicate shaping of the fish mixture into perfect little patties - each step felt like a dance, a symphony of flavors coming together in harmony.

Hours passed as I lovingly tended to the pot, my kitchen filled with the savory scent of simmering fish. And when the time finally came to taste my creation, I knew that I had stumbled upon a culinary masterpiece.

The Gefilte Fish was a revelation, a blend of textures and flavors that transported me back to the kitchens of my ancestors. The tender fish patties soaked in the rich broth, the sweetness of the carrots and onions mingling with the earthy herbs - each bite was a celebration of tradition and love.

I shared my creation with friends and family, who marveled at the complex flavors and the story behind the recipe. They urged me to make it again and again, each time with a new twist or variation that added to the dish's allure.

Over the years, I have continued to make Gefilte Fish, each time with a sense of reverence for the recipe that brought so much joy and connection to my life. I have shared the recipe with friends and strangers alike, spreading the tradition of this beloved dish far and wide.

And as I stand in my kitchen now, preparing another batch of Gefilte Fish, I can't help but feel grateful for that fateful day in the market, when a simple cookbook led me on a journey of discovery and delight. The recipe for Gefilte Fish may have come from a stranger's hands, but it has found a permanent place in my heart, a reminder of the power of food to connect us to our past and our future.


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