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The Hirshon Ultimate Gefilte Fish – געפֿילטע פֿיש

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  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 2 pounds carp (note that Ranch 99 Asian supermarket and many Chinese grocery stores frequently carry live carp – if you can get these, by all means do so!)
  • 2 1/2 pounds whitefish
  • 3 pounds yellow pike – all fish filleted and coarsely ground (your fishmonger can do this for you), making sure to save the heads (split), bones and skin from each fish!
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • Several sprigs fresh thyme, parsley and tarragon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 inch chunk of fresh ginger, cut into pieces
  • 1 leek, split, cleaned and chopped
  • Several lightly cracked peppercorns
  • 4 quarts cold bottled water or to just cover
  • 3 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 3 onions, peeled
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons sugar or to taste
  • 1 small parsnip, chopped
  • 3 to 4 large eggs
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cold bottled water (approximately)
  • 1/3 cup matzo meal (approximately)


  1. Place the reserved bones, skin, and fish heads in a wide, very large pot with a cover.
  2. Add the water, carrots, leek, celery, herbs, ginger, bay leaves, peppercorns and 2 teaspoons of the salt and bring to a boil. Remove the foam that accumulates.
  3. Place the ground fish in a bowl. In a food processor, finely chop the remaining onions, the remaining carrot, and the parsnip; or mince them by hand. Add the chopped vegetables to the ground fish.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, the remaining teaspoon of salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cold water, and mix thoroughly. Stir in enough matzo meal to make a light, soft mixture that will hold its shape. Wet your hands with cold water, and scooping up about ¼ cup of fish, form the mixture into oval shapes about 3 inches long.
  5. Remove from the pot and discard the skins, heads, and bones and return the stock to a simmer. Gently place the fish patties in the simmering fish stock. Cover loosely and simmer for 60 minutes. Taste the liquid while the fish is cooking and add seasoning to taste.
  6. Shake the pot periodically so the Gefilte patties won’t stick together. Strain out the gefilte, then reduce the stock by 50%. Add the gefilte balls back in, allow the stock to cool, then chill all in the refrigerator in the same pot.
  7. Slice 1 onion in rounds and add along with 3 of the carrots in a pot with water. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, then remove the carrots and allow to cool.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the gefilte fish and arrange on a platter. Strain some of the stock over the fish, saving the rest in a bowl for another use.
  9. Slice the cooked carrots into rounds cut on a diagonal about ¼ inch thick. Place a carrot round on top of each gefilte fish patty. Serve with a sprig of parsley plus grated horseradish.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
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