Gefillte Fish

Gefillte (gur-fill-ter) Fish is a traditional Jewish dish which is served as a first course. Although it is usually served cold with horseradish relish, it may also be served hot with an egg and lemon sauce. Use any white fish such as cod or haddock with carp, pike or bream. Half a pound of each kind offish is the most satisfactory mixture.


2 pints water

2 lb. white fish, filleted with heads, skin and bones reserved

3 onions, quartered

3 carrots

1 celery stalk

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 oz. fresh white breadcrumbs

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water, heads, skin and bones of the fish, 1 onion, 1 carrot, the celery and ½ teaspoon salt to the boil over high heat. When the liquid comes to the boil, reduce the heat to low, half cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the stock through a strainer into a bowl. Discard the heads, bones, skin and vegetables. Pour the stock back into the pan and set aside.

Put the fish fillets and the remaining onions through a mincer into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the parsley, eggs, the remaining salt, pepper and breadcrumbs and mix well. Moisten your hands with water and shape the mixture into balls. Set aside.

On a chopping board, scrape and slice the remaining carrots. Set aside.

Return the pan with the stock to high heat. When the stock comes to the boil reduce the heat to moderately low. Carefully drop in the fish balls and the carrots. Half cover the pan and simmer gently for 1 hour.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the fish balls to a serving dish or bowl. Remove the carrots and place them around the fish. Spoon over a little of the fish stock and set aside until cool. When the fish balls are cool, cover the dish and place it in the refrigerator to chill completely.

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