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Homemade Gefilte Fish (from scratch)

Gefilte fish is one of the most famous jewish cuisines. It is definitely a one of a kind dish. It originated from eastern Europe where bubbies would spend hours in the kitchen making the best gefilte fish from scratch for their families on special holidays like Passover and Rosh Hashana. Every family had their own special touch and unique way of making theirs the best. We asked several bubbies and used a traditional recipe. Does your bubbie make it slightly differently? Let us know. We'd love to know all the variations! 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6 - 10Servings


Gefilte Broth

  • 2 Whole Fish Bones (you can use a carp, a whitefish or a pike)
  • 1 Onion, halved
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • Parsley
  • Lemon Slice
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Hot Water (enough to cover)

Gefilte Fish Cakes

  • 4 Fish Fillets (can use from the 2 whole fish above)
  • ½ an Onion
  • Parsley
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Matzo Meal

Beet Horseradish

  • 1 Beet, grated
  • 1 Horseradish, grated
  • ¼ cup Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar


  1. Fillet 2 whole fish and save the bones. (Better to ask a fishmonger to do this step).
  2. In a big pot add the fish bones, onion, carrots, parsley, lemon, bay leaves and salt. Cover the ingredients with water. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for 1 hour.
  3. In a food processor add the fish fillets and process until smooth. Add the onion and process again. 
  4. Add the parsley, eggs, sugar, salt and pepper. Process well until smooth.
  5. Add the matzo meal 1/4 cup at a time until you reach a slightly grainy consistency that can be easily shaped. 
  6. Shape the mixture into Gefilte fish. They will look like round ovals slightly flattened. 
  7. Remove the fish bones from the broth and place all the gefilte fish inside. Don't pack them too tightly as they will grow by about 50% in size.
  8. Cover and allow to simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  9. Mix the beet-horseradish ingredients in a bowl. You should have approximately the same amount grated horseradish as beet.
  10. Plate the Gefilte fish and top with a piece of parsley and carrot on top. Pour some broth over the gefilte fish and serve with some of the beet-horseradish.