A popular mainstay in Ashkenazi Jewish cooking, gefilte fish (literally "stuffed fish") is traditionally made by carefully removing the skin of a fish (leaving it intact), mincing the flesh with ingredients such as egg, spices, onion and carrot, stuffing this back into the skin and baking the fish in the oven. This recipe is much easier as it is made from minced fish fillets formed into patties or balls, which are poached to a delicate shade of pale. Salmon or ocean trout give the gefilte fish a lovely rosy hue. It’s delicious served with grated horseradish.
- grated horseradish, to serve
- skin and bones from the fish fillets (see below)
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 leek, sliced
- slice of ginger
- 1–1.25 litres water
- 3 large onions, 2 quartered, 1 sliced
- 6 eggs
- 1 kg mixed fish fillets such as flathead, snapper, dory, salmon or ocean trout
- 60 g almond meal
- 2 tsp sugar
- salt and white pepper
- 2 slices ginger
- 1 carrot, sliced in thin rounds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the stock, place the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 40 minutes then strain, discarding the solids.
To make the fish patties, boil the quartered onion with 3 of the eggs for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then peel the eggs. Mince the boiled onion and egg in a food processor and place in a large mixing bowl.
Mince the fish in the food processor and add to the minced onion and egg, beating well with a wooden spoon to incorporate.
Add the almond meal and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining raw eggs one at a time, beating well (the better the mixing, the lighter the patties; allow 10 minutes of beating in total). If you think the mixture needs softening, add some chilled water. Refrigerate the mixture for 10 minutes to set a little. Form into medium-sized patties.
Lay the sliced onion in the base of a wide saucepan and add the ginger. Place the patties over the onions in a tight layer. Top each pattie with a slice of carrot.
Carefully pour in enough stock to come half- to three-quarters of the way up the patties. Gently bring to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes. Leave the patties to cool in the pan, then lift them into a wide dish. Strain the liquid over the patties, discarding the onion. Cover and chill in the refrigerator; the liquid should set into a light jelly.
Serve the carrot-topped patties and a little of their jelly with grated horseradish.