What is gefilte fish?
It is basically fish fillets ( carp, pike or whitefish) ground with eggs, onions and matzo formed into balls and boiled. More recently salmon has also been introduced as an alternative add on to the ingredients. It can be sweet or salty. The recipe for making gefilte fish varies from region to region and from cook to cook. There is no one unique way to prepare it.
There are four ways to prepare gefilte fish at passover. You can buy it in a can or bottle, you can buy a frozen loaf, you can make it yourself or you can order it from a caterer.
Jamie Geller, the author of Quick and Kosher, provides two recipes which use the frozen gefilte fish loaf. One of the recipes is the classic gefilte fish which only takes five minutes to prepare and two hours to cook. The other is a spiced gefilte fish recipe which takes a few minutes longer. I am not a fan of frozen foods. As a kosher caterer, I only use fresh ingredients. I believe that the quality and the taste of food is dependant on the freshness of the ingredients used. In my kitchen, frozen products or canned goods are not allowed. I have been told by many people that the frozen loaf does taste good and if you are novice cook or do not have the time, it is a wonderful way to keep tradition and serve gefilte fish to your family.
I will never buy gefilte fish in a can or jar. You are better to order it from a reputable kosher caterer.
If you do have the time and are willing to take a gamble, there is a great traditional recipe for gefilte fish in The Jewish Home Beautiful by Betty D. Greenberg and Althea O. Silverman. It reminds me of my bubby’s cooking.
Regardless of how you prepare for passover, remember that it is a wonderful time to have all your family at the dinner table to celebrate this Jewish holiday.