Sephardic Gefilte Fish

We really hate those gefilte fish that they sell in a jar. They are sweet, slimey and bland. So, when we want gefilte fish, we do what grandma used to do, make our own. Our recipe calls for:
  • 2 or 3 lbs of firm flesh white fish - we use ling cod or halibut, but we used to use monk fish
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup matzoh meal
  • olive oil for frying
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • parsely sprigs
1) Grind fish, onion, and garlic in food processor in several batches, then mix together in a big bowl. 2) Add cumin, cayenne, the egg, salt, pepper and matzoh meal. 3) Heat oil in a frying pan, then make the fish mixture into elongated, hand sized "balls" and fry them until browned on each side. Remove each "ball" or ovoid so it can drain on paper towels. 4) Bring a big pot of water to boil, add lemon juice, turmeric, tomato paste and parsley sprigs. 5) Add the fish "balls" to the boiling brew and let them cook for a while. Don't add too many at once or boil too briskly, but you can get them all in and boiling without trouble.

We cut our ling cod into chunks and grind it in our food processor

with the onions and garlic.

Then we add the matzoh meal, cumin, cayenne, and egg. Then a bit of salt and pepper.

We make fish balls, roll them out a bit, then fry them in olive oil.

Browning them on all, usually three, sides

While frying, we bring a big pot of water to boil and add the turmeric, tomato paste, lemon and parsley.

Then in go the fried fish balls.

They'll turn yellow from the turmeric.

We also make up a batch of matzoh balls, here shown before and after cooking. We use the recipe on the box.