Gefilte Fish Recipe with Beet Horseradish for Passover

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Gefilte Fish Recipe with Beet Horseradish for Passover

The gefilte fish is a traditional Jewish recipe that’s made during Passover and a must have on the seder table. Traditionally made with carp or pike with matzo meal into fish cakes that are simmered in a broth of strong fish stock. This simple, easy and effortless recipe add tons more flavor and simplifies the process so it’s easy for anyone to make.

Passover is almost here and so is Easter! Yes, we celebrate both. As a mom, it’s kinda hectic to keep track, plan and prepare for both but as a kid – gosh how much is this? My kids get the best of both worlds. Ziv is born Jewish and I’m born Roman Catholic. While we both respect our religion we are mostly religious only when celebrating festivals. I do go to church when possible but don’t remember when Ziv ever did anything religious.

Anyways, since we live here in Israel we do celebrate almost all festivals with Ziv’s family. When Ziv’s mom was with us she’d take care of all the traditional stuff like traditional recipes. I remember the first time I ate the gefilte fish. I didn’t like it then and I’m not a big fan of it now either. And It’s not because it’s made badly – it’s acquired taste. I do eat it because you know over time you warm up to it.

My Aadi is a foodie (guess where he gets it from?) and he loves some of the traditional Jewish recipes like this gefilte fish. When his grand mom was here she entertained all this request but after she passed away – I have Aadi ask me to make stuff she made, like “mom can you make that Passover fish grandma use to make? I like it very much”

So over the past five years, I’ve had to venture into making these traditional Jewish recipes. Lucky for me I love to cook and I have always experimented and cooked many different cuisines be it simple Japanese sushi, Asian food or Spanish tapas.

Video – Gefilte Fish for Passover

Shopping for fish

Traditionally used in this recipe is carp, white fish or pike but you can use other varieties as well. Today I am using bouri which came recommended by my fishmonger. It comes in plenty and is quite affordable.

Passover cooking can be so overwhelming!

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. There is so much to do!!

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!!

Here’s another tip – after you 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.

The Horseradish

Most people have a love-hate relationship with this horseradish which is an accompaniment to this gefilte fish. I love it because it’s the only way I can eat the gefilte fish.

For me, without the horseradish, I find it bland. But horseradish is also spicy. It’s a different kind of spice; one that clears the sinus.

Tip – 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. Alternatiely, change the ration of the horseradish to beets. Instead of using 1:1 use 1:2 or even 1:3 three being beets of cousre. I notice that when I use more beets my kids can eat some too.

Let’s talk ingredients and substitutes

  • Fish – As I said above the carp or pike is more traditional but again go with a fleshly fish you like to eat.
  • Matzo meal – this dish is made for Passover so matzo meal is the obvious choice. But you can use bread crumbs or crushed matzah as well. If you want to make it gluten free use almond meal.
  • Carrots – adds flavor to the stock. Some recipes have grated carrots in the fish cake mixture, you can add 1/2 cup grated carrots. It will keep the fish cakes moist. Personally, I like them without the carrots.
  • Onions – adds tons of flavor to the fish. As you can see traditionally this fish has minimum flavor ingredients.
  • Fennel – not traditionally used which is why I put it as optional but fennel is a great flavor addition to fish.
  • Parsley – again not a traditional ingredient but I love the flavor it brings to the stock and the fish cakes.
  • Bay leaves – not a traditional ingredient but I think it helps add more flavor and lessen that fishy smell.
  • Lemon slices – my main reason to add the lemon slice is to reduce that fishy smell. It really does help – if you don’t like the flavor of lemon – you can take it off after the first 30 minutes of boiling.
  • Eggs – the boiled eggs add texture to this fish cakes which is more grainy compared to smooth. The fresh raw eggs help combine all the ingredients. I’d say 1 egg per 500 grams is good proportion – any more than that will tend to give you dry fish cakes.

Recipe – Gefilte Fish with Beet Horseradish for Passover

Ingredients

For the Stock

  • Fishbones or stock – 1 liter (2 pints or 4 cups)
  • Parsley – 2 sprigs
  • Onion – 1/2 cup chopped (1 medium)
  • Carrots – 1/2 cup chopped (2 medium)
  • Salt – 1 Tsp
  • Peppercorns – 10 corns
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Bay leaves – 2 large
  • Lemon slice – 1 slice

For the Fish Cakes

  • Fish fillets or ground – 900 grams (2 lbs)
  • Onion – 1 cup
  • Boiled eggs – 2 large
  • Fresh eggs – 2 large
  • Matzo meal – 90 grams (3/4 cup)
  • Sugar – 75 grams (1/3 cup)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Horseradish

  • Horseradish grated – 4 cups
  • Raw Beet grated – 2 cups
  • White vinegar – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 1/4 cup

Method

Prepare the fish stock

  • Pour stock into a wide cooking pan. If using fish bones add water and fishbones to the pan. (see notes above)
  • Add all stock ingredients, stir.
  • Cover and simmer on medium-low for 1 hour (if using fish bones simmer 1/2 hour more)
  • Once simmered – drain or remove all veggies.
  • Discard all other vegetables but save the carrots for garnish

Prepare the fish

  • If using whole fish – fillet them and use the bones for stock above.
  • If using fish fillets – pulse in the food processor for a minute or more to make groundfish

Prepare onion/egg mix

  • In the same food processor – pulse onions for a minute
  • Then add the parsley, boiled eggs, salt, and pepper until fine but not smooth

Combine fish cake mixture

  • 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 (to prevent tough fish cakes)
  • See consistency – you want it to be soft but still be able to shape in an oval cake.
  • If it’s too stiff the cakes will be hard as the matzo meal will absorb all liquid, so add a few tbsp of water to the mixture.

Form fish cakes

  • Use a 1/4 or 1/3 cup to measure mixture if you want to ensure all are the same size
  • Wet your hands with water to prevent the fish batter from sticking to your hands
  • Roll into a ball then shape into an oval.
  • You can keep the formed fish cakes in the fridge until the stock is ready.

Cook the fish cakes

  • Once the fish broth is ready.
  • Reduce the heat to low so the broth is 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.
  • Once all the fish cakes are in; cover with a lid
  • Keep the broth on a medium-low simmer for one and half hour.

Remove cooked fish cakes

  • 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
  • Pour some of the fish stock over 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

Make the Beet horseradish

  • Peel and grate the horseradish and beets
  • Mix the two in a bowl
  • Add the vinegar, salt and sugar – Combine well
  • Pour into a mason jar and let sit in the fridge to chill

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Gefilte Fish Recipe with Beet Horseradish for Passover

Prep

40 mins

Cook

2 hours, 30 mins

Inactive

3 hours

Total

6 hours, 10 mins

Author Veena Azmanov

Yield 20 fish cakes

The gefilte fish is a traditional Jewish recipe that's made during Passover and a must have on the seder table. Traditionally made with carp or pike with matzo meal into fish cakes that are simmered in a broth of strong fish stock. This simple, easy and effortless recipe add tons more flavor and simplifies the process so it's easy for anyone to make.

Ingredients

For the Stock

  • Fishbones or stock - 1 liter (2 pints or 4 cups)
  • Parsley - 2 sprigs
  • Onion - 1/2 cup chopped (1 medium)
  • Carrots - 1/2 cup chopped (2 medium)
  • Salt - 1 Tsp
  • Peppercorns - 10 corns
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Bay leaves - 2 large
  • Lemon slice - 1 slice

For the Fish Cakes

  • Fish fillets or ground - 900 grams (2 lbs)
  • Onion - 1 cup
  • Boiled eggs - 2 large
  • Fresh eggs - 2 large
  • Matzo meal - 90 grams (3/4 cup)
  • Sugar - 75 grams (1/3 cup)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Horseradish

  • Horseradish grated - 4 cups
  • Raw Beet grated - 2 cups
  • White vinegar - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar - 1/4 cup

Instructions

Prepare the fish stock

  • Pour stock into a wide cooking pan. If using fish bones add water and fishbones to the pan. (see notes above)
  • Add all stock ingredients, stir.
  • Cover and simmer on medium-low for 1 hour (if using fish bones simmer 1/2 hour more)
  • Once simmered - drain or remove all veggies.
  • Discard all other vegetables but save the carrots for garnish

Prepare the fish

  • If using whole fish - fillet them and use the bones for stock above.
  • If using fish fillets - pulse in the food processor for a minute or more to make groundfish

Prepare onion/egg mix

  • In the same food processor - pulse onions for a minute
  • Then add the parsley, boiled eggs, salt, and pepper until fine but not smooth

Combine fish cake mixture

  • 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 (to prevent tough fish cakes)
  • See consistency - you want it to be soft but still be able to shape in an oval cake.
  • If it's too stiff the cakes will be hard as the matzo meal will absorb all liquid, so add a few tbsp of water to the mixture.

Form fish cakes

  • Use a 1/4 or 1/3 cup to measure mixture if you want to ensure all are the same size
  • Wet your hands with water to prevent the fish batter from sticking to your hands
  • Roll into a ball then shape into an oval.
  • You can keep the formed fish cakes in the fridge until the stock is ready.

Cook the fish cakes

  • Once the fish broth is ready.
  • Reduce the heat to low so the broth is 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.
  • Once all the fish cakes are in; cover with a lid
  • Keep the broth on a medium-low simmer for one and half hour.

Remove cooked fish cakes

  • 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
  • Pour some of the fish stock over 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

Make the Beet horseradish

  • Peel and grate the horseradish and beets
  • Mix the two in a bowl
  • Add the vinegar, salt and sugar - Combine well
  • Pour into a mason jar and let sit in the fridge to chill

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 98 g

Amount Per Serving

Calories 158

% Daily Value

Total Fat 6.8 g

10%

Saturated Fat 1.7 g

9%

Unsaturated Fat 5.1 g

Cholesterol 53 mg

18%

Sodium 345 mg

14%

Total Carbohydrates 16 g

5%

Sugars 4 g

Protein 8 g

16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Do you like Middle Eastern Food? Israeli Food?

I have some amazing recipes like quick Sheet Pan Shawarma Chicken and Shawarma Pita Pockets to Heart Healthy Classic Hummus and Tahini Sauce as well as indulgent falafel and Passover favorite Chocolate Pecan Cake to summer classics Kebabs and festive latkes. You can find them all here Middle Eastern Recipes. Alternatively, you can find a whole list all my recipes here on this Recipe Index

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Gefilte Fish Recipe with Beet Horseradish for Passover Gefilte Fish Recipe with Beet Horseradish for Passover Reviewed by Cake Lover on March 24, 2018 Rating: 5
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