2 pounds whole carp
1 pound whole pike, filleted, head, bones, and skin reserved
1 pound whole whitefish, filleted, head, bones, and skin reserved
3 quarts cold water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 onions, peeled
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 large eggs
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup cold water
2 to 4 tablespoons matzo meal


1. Fillet the fish; set aside. Place the heads, bones, and skin in a 5-quart saucepan. Thinly slice 1 onion and diagonally quarter 1 carrot. Add the water, sliced onion, carrot quarters, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt to the saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook 20 to 25 minutes while the gefilte fish are being prepared. Skim off and discard any foam that accumulates.
2. Grind the fish in a food processor or grinder; remove to a large bowl. Very finely chop the remaining onion and carrot in the food processor or by hand and add to the ground fish.
3. Stir in the 2 eggs, one at a time, the 1/4 cup cold water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into the fish mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Stir in enough of the 2 to 4 tablespoons matzo meal to make a light, soft mixture that sticks together. Divide into 12 mounds on wax paper. Shape each into an oval gefilte fish, about 3 inches long.
4. Strain the fish stock into a large, deep skillet; reserve the carrots. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Bring stock to a simmer over low heat. Gently place the gefilte fish in the simmering fish stock. Cover loosely and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until gefilte fish are firm, loosening fish from the bottom of the skillet with a spatula, if necessary. When gefilte fish are cooked, remove to a serving plate with a slotted spoon and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.
5. Strain some of the stock over the fish; refrigerate or freeze the rest for another purpose. Diagonally slice the cooked carrots crosswise. Place a carrot slice on top of each gefilte fish patty. Sprinkle remaining carrots around fish. Garnish with parsley, wrap, and chill until ready to serve.

This recipe may seem time-consuming, but try it once and you’ll discover how much better freshly made gefilte fish are than those in the jar.

Gefilte Fish
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