How to Make Gefilte Fish

Gefilte fish
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  • 01 of 10

    Prepare Ingredients

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni

    At the time of the Mishna (200 CE), rabbis deemed it meritorious to eat fish on the Sabbath and Jews became accustomed to eating fish at festive meals. Due to the plethora of rivers in Europe, Ashkenazi Jews tended to cook with freshwater fish. Eastern European Jews would make a mixture of chopped fish, stuff it back into the skin of the fish, and boil it. The word gefilte means stuffed in Yiddish.
    Gefilte fish is a loaf of chopped up fish, usually white-fleshed freshwater fish such as carp or pike. The chopped fish is generally mixed with onions, carrots and parsley. Eggs and matzah meal hold the mixture together. Below are ingredients for gefilte fish.

    Fish Balls

    • 4 pounds (2 kilogram) whitefish (carp or pike), without heads and cleaned
    • 2 large carrots, peeled
    • 2 large parsnips, peeled
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 4 Tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
    • 2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup matzo meal
    • 4 eggs
    • 1-2 Tbsp. sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. paprika
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
    • 1/8-1/4 cup canola oil (enough to hold mixture together)

    Fish Broth

    • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced
    • 3 onions, peeled and sliced
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
    • 1-2 Tbsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. paprika
    • 1-2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2-1 tsp. white pepper
    • 4-6 cups water
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  • 02 of 10

    Grind Ingredients

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni

    Saute 1 onion in 2 tablespoons oil, and set aside to cool. In a food processor, grind the fish and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Grind 2 carrots, 2 parsnips, 1 onion, 8-9 garlic cloves, and parsley.

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  • 03 of 10

    Mix Ingredients

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni

    Add the fried onions and matzo meal to the ground fish.

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  • 04 of 10

    Add Ground Vegetables

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni
    Add the ground vegetables to the fish batter.
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  • 05 of 10

    Mix

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni
    Add the eggs, spices, and enough oil for mixture to hold together nicely. Mix well. If time allows, cover the fish batter and store in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
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  • 06 of 10

    Fish Stuffing

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni
    If desired, you can use the fish stuffing to stuff fish heads or pieces of fish.
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  • 07 of 10

    Fish Balls

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni
    Use the rest of the stuffing to form fish balls.
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  • 08 of 10

    Fish Stock

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni
    In a large soup pot, mix together the ingredients for the fish stock. Add water and bring to a boil.
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  • 09 of 10

    Boil the Fish

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni
    Gently place the stuffed fish pieces and the fish balls into the boiling fish stock. If more water is needed to cover the fish, add water to the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the flame, and cook on low for about one hour. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Cook on low for about another 30 minutes.
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  • 10 of 10

    Cool the Fish

    How to Make Gefilte Fish
    How to Make Gefilte Fish. Giora Shimoni
    Remove the fish carefully from the stock onto prepared pans. Pour some fish stock on the fish. Slice carrots from the stock, and place a piece of carrot on each piece of fish. Let the fish cool. After the fish has cooled, cover and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This fish also freezes well. If you freeze the fish, be sure to boil it again, then chill and refrigerate before serving.