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How to Make Gefilte Fish

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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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