Gefilte Fish

Gefilte fish from Yiddish: “stuffed fish”, is an Ashkenazi Jewish dish made from a poached mixture of ground deboned fish, such as carp, whitefish, or pike, which is typically eaten as an appetizer.

 Although the dish historically consisted of a minced-fish forcemeat stuffed inside the fish skin, as its name implies, since the 19th century the skin has commonly been omitted and the seasoned fish is formed into patties similar to quenelles or fish balls. They are popular on Shabbat and Holidays such as Passover, although they may be consumed throughout the year.  Gefilte fish is never eaten hot. Cold or at room temp.

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 Gefilte Fish

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IngredientsGefite Fish

Fish Mixture:

  • 3 1/2 pounds whitefish
  • 3 1/2 pounds pike
  • 2 pounds carp plus
  • 1 pound buffalo fish or 3 pounds carp
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 medium large onions
  • 3 large carrots
  • 5 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar water


  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 large onion,
  • 4-5 tablespoons salt
  • 4/5 tablespoons sugar water


  1. Fillet fish. Wash thoroughly. Wash and set aside bones, skin, and heads. Grind fillets. If ground fish is too sticky, add water.
  2. Grind 2 onions and 3 carrots. Add eggs, onions, carrots, 5 tablespoons salt and 1/4 cup sugar water to ground fish.
  3. Mix thoroughly. The more you mix fish, the fluffier it will be.
  4. Peel carrots and onion, slice into 8 quart pot. Place bones, skin and heads on top of vegetables. Add enough water to pot to cover completely.
  5. Add 4-5 tablespoons salt and 4-5 tablespoons sugar-water. Bring to boil. Wet hands and form fish balls.
  6. Add to pot while water is boiling.*
  7. Boil fish for two hours. Check pot frequently and add water as necessary, conservatively if you want a gel, or generously for broth. Yields 35-40 portions.

Note:* Use very large pot as fish balls expand.


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