Gefilte Fish


Gefilte Fish

Mike Nadelman
Gefilte fish, a pescatarian’s meatloaf of ground fish, onions, starch, and eggs, is both an object of culinary delight and a linchpin of Jewish shtick. Born in Europe out of religious obligation, poverty, and ingenuity, gefilte fish survived in America due to bottling technology
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Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 6 hours
Course Side Dish
Cuisine European, Jewish, Kosher
Servings 8 Servings


For the Stock

  • 1.6 cups 0.4 liter Fish stock or fresh bones with water
  • 0.8 sprigs Parsley
  • 0.2 cup Onion chopped
  • 0.2 cup Carrots chopped
  • 0.4 tsp Salt
  • 4 Peppercorns
  • 0.2 tsp Fennel seeds optional
  • 0.8 leaves Bay leaves
  • 0.4 slice Lemon slice

Fish Cake

  • 0.8 lbs 360 g Fish fillets ground
  • 0.4 cup Onion
  • 0.8 Boiled eggs large
  • 0.8 Fresh eggs large
  • 0.3 cups 40 g Matzo meal
  • 2 tbsp 30 g Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • For the Horseradish

Beet Horseradish

  • 0.4 cups Raw Beet grated
  • 0.1 cup 24 ml White vinegar
  • 1.2 tbsp Sugar
  • .8 cups Horseradish grated


Prepare the fish stock

  • Pour stock into a wide cooking pan. If using fish bones add water and fishbones to the pan. (see notes above)
  • Add all stock ingredients, stir.
  • Cover and simmer on medium-low for 1 hour (if using fish bones simmer ½ hour more)
  • Once simmered - drain or remove all veggies.
  • Discard all other vegetables but save the carrots for garnish.

Prepare the fish

  • If using whole fish - fillet them and use the bones for stock above.
  • If using fish fillets - pulse in the food processor for a minute or more to make groundfish

Prepare onion/egg mix

  • In the same food processor - pulse onions for a minute
  • Then add the parsley, boiled eggs, salt, and pepper until fine but not smooth.
  • Combine fish cake mixture
  • In a large bowl - add all the fish cake ingredients starting from groundfish, onion mixture, matzo meal, eggs, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Combine the mixture well but do not over mix (to prevent tough fish cakes)
  • See consistency - you want it to be soft but still be able to shape in an oval cake.
  • If it's too stiff the cakes will be hard as the matzo meal will absorb all liquid, so add a few tbsp of water to the mixture.

Foam fish cakes

  • Use a ¼ or ⅓ cup to measure mixture if you want to ensure all are the same size
  • Wet your hands with water to prevent the fish batter from sticking to your hands
  • Roll into a ball then shape into an oval.
  • You can keep the formed fish cakes in the fridge until the stock is ready.

Cook the fish cakes

  • Once the fish broth is ready.
  • Reduce the heat to low so the broth is a gentle simmer
  • Gently place the fish cakes in one at a time.
  • Use a spoon to move them around gently to create more space.
  • Once all the fish cakes are in; cover with a lid
  • Keep the broth on a medium-low simmer for one and half hour.

Remove the cooked fish

  • After an hour and a half, the fish cakes will be cooked and have turned white.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove them to a shallow serving platter
  • Pour some of the fish stock over to keep them moist.
  • Garnish with sliced carrots (we saved from the stock above) and a parsley leaf
  • Place in the fridge for a few hours to chill

This dish is traditionally served cold with beet horseradish

  • Peel and grate the horseradish and beets
  • Mix the two in a bowl
  • Add the vinegar, salt and sugar - Combine well
  • Pour into a mason jar and let sit in the fridge to chill


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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