The gefilte fish is a traditional Jewish recipe that's made during festive times like Passover and Rosh hashana. In fact, it is a must-have dish on the seder table. Traditionally made with carp or pike fish, boiled eggs, matzo meal, then shaped into fish cakes that are simmered in fish broth.
In a pot add the fish bones, water, and all the stock ingredients such as carrots, onions, fennel, parsley, etc. Alternatively, you can substitute the fish bones with fish broth as I have done in the video.Pro tip - use a wide pot so you have enough space to add all the fish cakes later.
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.
Ground fish & Egg mixture
Meanwhile, In the food processor, pulse the fish (without bones) for a minute or more to make groundfish. Set aside.Pro tip - traditionally, the whole fish is purchased. The bones are used for the broth and the flesh for the fish cakes.
In the same food processor - pulse onions for a minute. Then add the parsley, boiled eggs, salt, and pepper until fine but not smooth. Set aside. Pro tip - gefilte fish cakes are not smooth, they do have some texture. Plus it is easier to mold when not as smooth.
Shape the fish cakes
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. You want it to be soft but still be able to shape in an oval cake.Pro tip - If the mixture is too stiff the cakes will be hard because the matzo meal will absorb all liquid, so add a few tbsp of water to the mixture if necessary.
Take small portions of the mixture and shape it into an oval. Use a ¼ or ⅓ measuring cup to ensure all cakes are the same sizePro tip - overmixing will make tough fish cakes so be gentle and keep them light and airy.
The best way to do this is to roll the mixture into a ball then shape it into an oval.Pro tip - Wet your hands with water to prevent the fish mixture from sticking to your hands
You can keep the shaped fish cakes in the fridge until the stock is ready.Pro tip - these cakes will keep in the fridge for up to two days before cooking further.
Cook the fish cakes
Once the fish broth is ready. Reduce the heat to low so the broth is at 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.Pro tip - these cakes very gentle at this time so handle them carefully.
Once all the fish cakes are in; cover with a lid. Cook the broth on a medium-low simmer for one and half hours.Pro tip - keep the heat to medium-low otherwise the fish cakes can break into pieces if boiled.
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. Pro tip - it is necessary to take them out so they do not overcook and soak up too much liquid. The stock can be reused or served as a plain fish soup.
Pour some of the fish stock over the fish cakes 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. Pro tip - these will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Make the beet/horseradish
Peel and grate the horseradish and beets in a bowl. Add the vinegar, salt, and sugar - Combine well
Pour into a mason jar and let macerate in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Passover can be an overwhelming time - the kids are on vacation! Everyone is planning the seder and the seder is so much about the food. You have to make all these wonderful dishes. BUT, there are a few things you can do to reduce this stress, such as
Ask your fishmonger to do the cleaning and mincing of the fish. Yes, they do charge a little more but why not; if it reduces your workload, stress and keeps the house clean, not smelling of fish!!
Gefilte fish has a good shelflife and it can be kept in the fridge for a few days, so make it ahead of time.
After you are done cooking this dish. Place a pot of water to boil - add a cinnamon stick and a chopped lemon - let it boil on a medium-low simmer for an hour. Your home will smell amazing again. The lemon does a great job of removing all the fish smell from every corner of the house.
Horseradish - Over time the horseradish tends to get more intense in flavor so if you like it spicy - prepare it a few days ahead. If not; make it on the day you want to serve it. Alternatively, change the ratio of the horseradish to beets. Instead of using 1:1 use 1:2 or even 1:3 three being beets of course. I notice that when I use more beets my kids can eat some too.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you