The Jewish Omnivore – Gefilte Fish


Yep, we’re talkin’ the dreaded Gefilte fish.  Perhaps the most disgusting thing on the entire Jewish Omnivore list.  It’s such a staple though that you simply must try it, even just once. describes it as “fish prepared in a certain manner, a dish traditionally enjoyed by Ashkenazi Jews on Shabbat and Jewish holidays”. The word “enjoyed” is used extremely loosely here, as I have yet to meet a single person who has ever said “man, I could really go for some Gefilte fish!”.

Basically what you have is ground up fish (usually pike, carp or whitefish) mixed with spices, carrots, onions and some egg (to hold it all together). Most people don’t bother with cooking it, since it’s a serious pain in the ass to prepare. Instead they go for one of the lovely bottles pictured above. Ground up fish in “jelled broth”. Tastes about as good as it sounds.

Don’t forget to get (or make) some strong horseradish to go with it because 1) it masks the disgustingness and 2) horseradish is awesome.  Feel free to wash it down with some awful Manischweitz too complete this culinary nightmare.

If you’re up for a challenge, here’s a solid recipe put together by Wolfgang Puck:

1 head (about 2 1/2 pounds) green cabbage
1/2 cup matzoh meal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium (5 ounces) onion, minced
2 pounds whitefish fillets, such as pike, carp, or whitefish, cut into chunks
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons (6 or 7 sprigs) chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 to 3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 quart fish stock
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into julienne
1 medium leek, white part only, cut into julienne

Recipe props: Food Channel