Some would say gefilte fish is the quintessential Jewish food. So, why not learn how to make it from scratch?

This recipe is relatively simple, and kosher for Passover, of course. The recipe I’m sharing yields 60 gefilte fish balls, which sounds like a lot. Okay, it is a lot. But they freeze well, and the recipe also divides in half easily, so you can make a small batch.

First you’ll need to put up a stock of water, onion, carrot, salt and sugar.

While that comes to a boil, mix the fish ball ingredients together. You’ll need ground pike and whitefish, ground onion, eggs, water, sugar and salt. The batter will not be very firm, but it will still roll into balls.

Note: Many people do not wet their matzah on Passover. That is why there is no matzah meal in this recipe. If you are making this fish during the year, or if this is not your custom, you can add some matzah meal to the batter to stiffen it up. I would estimate about half a cup, adding slowly as you go.

Bring the stock to a rolling boil. Keep it at a boil while you roll the balls and drop them in gently, a few at a time.

Tip: Wet your hands between every few fish balls to help with the rolling.

When you’ve made all the fish balls and they’re all in the pot, turn it down to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, then remove from the fire.

Take the fish balls and carrots out of the stock and let them cool. Discard the stock. Refrigerate the fish and carrots for up to 3 days. Or freeze for later use.

Gefilte fish is traditionally served cold, with a piece of carrot on top and some chrein (beet & horseradish dip) on the side. But there’s no wrong way to eat it.

Fish Ingredients

  • 5 lbs. ground fish (mixture of pike and whitefish)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and ground
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1½ cups sugar

Stock Ingredients:

  • 16 cups water
  • 4 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks


  1. Put the stock ingredients into a strong pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Mix the fish ingredients together. Roll into balls.
  3. When the stock comes to a rolling boil, drop the balls into it gently.
  4. When all the balls are in the pot, turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Remove the fish balls and the carrots from the liquid. Refrigerate, or freeze for later use. Discard the liquid. Fish lasts about 3 days in the fridge.

Yield: 60 fish balls. Recipe can easily be divided in half for a smaller yield.

Have you ever made gefilte fish before? Are you a fan? Tell us about your first gefilte fish experience . . . And if you have an exceptional gefilte fish recipe, share that with us too!