Grandma Gene's Gefilte Fish

Time 2 hours
Yields Serves 8
Grandma Gene’s Gefilte Fish

Fish broth


In a large pot, place the onions, onion peels, carrot, celery tops, fish bones, heads and skin, and salt and pepper. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 1 hour, adding additional water if needed. When the broth is flavorful, strain out the fish bones and vegetables and discard. Keep the broth warm.



In a meat grinder, grind the fish with the onion, carrot and celery. Put through the grinder again. Place the ground mixture in a large wooden chopping bowl and blend with the eggs and matzo meal. Using a hand chopper, chop the fish mixture, adding the water gradually with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper as you chop. (Mixture should be soft and light to the touch.)


Wet your hands with cold water and shape the fish mixture into oval balls. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat, and place the fish balls in the broth. Cover, reduce the heat to medium high, and cook until the fish is tender, about 1 hour; do not overcook. Cool, transfer to a shallow glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and foil, and refrigerate about 2 hours.


To serve, arrange a lettuce leaf on each plate; top with fish and garnish with cucumbers and horseradish sauce. Makes about 50 fish balls.

If possible, buy whole whitefish. Have it boned and wrap the bones, heads and skin separately, for the fish broth. If you’re lucky, you may find roe inside the fish, or you can purchase the roe, poach it with the fish balls, and serve separately. This updated version of Grandma Gene’s Gefilte Fish gets better and easier to make every year. Use the fish bones, heads and skin of the whitefish for the broth.

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