Homemade Gefilte Fish

Passover has been wonderful so far. The greatest accomplishment of the Seder was the homemade gefilte fish. My mother and I had a lot of fun preparing this recipe. We also learned a lot in the process. We were worried if the fish would smell bad (it did not), if we would have to deal with fish heads (we did!), and how difficult the process would be. It took under 45 minutes of active preparation. Mothers, aunts, and grandmothers preparing gifiltefish for days is part of Jewish legends. I’ve heard stories about ladies who kept the fish in the bathtub to make sure that it was fresh! With the help of a fish counter and food processor, ours did not take the same amount of time– but it was fantastic. Try it yourself and serve with horseradish. Don’t be scared, it was fun. I will definitely be doing it again next year.

Sweet Style Gefilte Fish (Polish Style) (Adapted from Kosher Express)

What You Need (Broth and Gefilte Fish)

– Fish Bones from fish store
– 3 Carrots
– 2 celery ribs
– 3 small onions
– 3 teaspoons salt
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 pound carp, ground
– 1/2 pound whitefish, ground
– 1/2 pound pike, ground
– 2 eggs
– l medium minced onion
– l large minced carrot
– l stalk minced celery
– 1/3 cup matzo meal, about
– 2 1/2 tsp. salt
– 3/4 tsp. black pepper
– 3/4 cup sugar (I didn’t use this much this time, but next time I will)
What You Do
1. Start with making the fish stock by covering the fish bones, carrots, celery, and onions with water.
2. Add about 1/3 cup sugar and 3 teaspoons salt into the water.
3. Bring to a boil and then simmer while you prepare the remainder of the gefilte fish.
4. Ground the fish if it is not ground. The fish counter prepared the fish (we actually had a pound of each fish) but they would not grind it for us. Also, I had to take off some of the remaining skin. I then cut the fish up and used the food processor to grind the fish. Recipes call for adding water during this process to make sure that the fish remains the right consistency- I didn’t need to.

5. Mince the carrots, onion, and celery.

6. Mix together the ground fish and vegetables.
7. Add the eggs, matzoh meal, salt, pepper, sugar (don’t be scared, use it all!).
8. Chill, for easier handling, then shape into balls, using wet hands (re-dip as necessary) to form balls.
9. Add fish balls to the fish stock (with all the goods in the stock– including the fish bones and heads!) and simmer covered for 2 hours.

10. Chill well.

11. Enjoy with boiled carrots and horseradish.
This is me looking “smug” (as my mother said) with a great sense of accomplishment– homemade gefilte fish!

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