Gefilte Fish

This is the basic recipe.


  • 3 pounds fish (any firm-fleshed fish — yellow pike, carp, buffalo or a combination thereof)
  • Salt, as needed
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • Pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 slices white bread, soaked and squeezed
  • Parsley
  • Cold water to cover


  1. Skin and bone the fish, leaving skin attached to bones of each part or cut.
  2. After the whole fish has been dressed and sectioned, salt evenly skin-bone cuts to be stuffed. Let stand in a covered glass bowl in the refrigerator while chopping the filleted parts or flesh.
  3. Grate in one onion, add eggs, salt and pepper to taste, and soaked bread if desired as a "stretcher."
  4. If no bread is used, add 2 tablespoons cold water and combine thoroughly.
  5. Wet hands and return pulp to bones, covering with the attached skin.
  6. Place the head bones and diced vegetables in the bottom of a deep pot.
  7. Place filled fish sections neatly on top; add cold water to cover. Cover pot. Bring to a quick boil, remove cover and turn down heat, keeping the fish at a slow boil for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The liquid should be reduced by half.
  8. When cool, remove to a platter carefully, to retain shape of each section.
  9. Strain the liquid over the fish or into a separate bowl.
  10. Chill thoroughly before serving, using the carrot for garnish.
  11. The jelled sauce may be cut and served separately or as an additional garnish.

Serves 4 to 6.


Grate a raw carrot into chopped filleted fish after grating in an onion. Add ingredients as listed. After forming and arranging balls or filled sections in cooking pot, add 1 carrot, thinly sliced.

Place bones, head and skin removed in the process of filleting fish on the bottom of pot. Arrange several stalks of celery across and arrange fish balls on top to make removal easier when cooked. The bones and skin add flavor to the fish sauce. Discard bones after removing fish and straining sauce.

Form 3-inch patties of pulp, dip into fine crumbs and fry or bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Remove all bones from skin cuts and fill with chopped fish pulp as in basic recipe.

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