6 of interesting facts from the history of stuffed fish and the recipe from the chef

Disputes, which should be stuffed fish - sweet or spicy, do not cease more than a century. Supporters of different traditions shared by territory "gefilte

Disputes, which should be stuffed fish – sweet or spicy, do not cease more than a century. Supporters of different traditions shared by territory “gefilte fish line”

The Torah forbids Jews to work on Saturday, but the ancient tradition on the table that day, among other dishes should be “big fish.” It would seem, what a contradiction? But clean the fish – it is work, choose from her bones during the meal – too. The solution turned out witty, and they have been using for many years in different countries, without thinking about the religious roots of the recipe. Fish can be prepared in advance and served cold, retaining its appearance, but get rid of the bones.
On idishe gefilte means “stuffed” – minced fish lay into her skin was sutured and baked. Fish has always been relatively expensive food. However, mixing the pike fillets with cheap ingredients – bread, onion and egg – a medium-sized fish can feed a large family or to provide themselves with food for a few days. Of gefilte fish is also not necessary to choose a bone that allows rules to observe Shabbat.


Born in Gomel region Kalinkavičy chef Moscow restaurant “Shtetl” tells what gefilte fish is the most delicious.

Still, there are correct, authentic gefilte fish?

Every Jewish mother would argue that it is a better way. Only in Odessa I know 15 recipes for gefilte fish. And can not be called the most correct.

And what’s the difference?
Use different varieties of fish: carp, pike, walleye, whitefish, carp – or any kind of freshwater fish with scales. One can cook fish or mix them, say carp and common carp. Different additives: somewhere put raw onions browned somewhere, someone will add beets, carrots someone, and someone fried chanterelles. You can put muffins or oatmeal cookies, or matzo crackers, bread or semolina.

The recipe varies by region?
In Belarus, a batch of carp with beets and onion skins for color extinguish several hours. Bukhara make gefilte fish entirely. Polish Jews prepare the meatballs and serve it in a jelly.

Do you what preferences?
You know, all of childhood … I believe that delicious stuffed fish, braised chunks in the pot, as it is prepared in Belarus, nowhere.
One of the main fish for this dish since the Middle Ages considered the pike. The earliest recipe stuffed pike found in Germany – the manuscript dates from around 1350. There, in Germany, in the lake near the modern swimming Kaiserslautern famous pike, which in 1230 Emperor Frederick II seems to be marked by a special ring. According to legend, it was her – weighing 140 pounds and about 6 meters long – was caught after 267 years. Pike is growing faster than other fish – in three years time to acquire about two kilos. But the main thing – it caught all year round. What many centuries made it an indispensable staple food, especially in winter (especially on Saturdays).

In the XVII century the Jewish pike pressed table was imported from the East European carp. Especially popular dishes of carp began to use in Poland. Here carp began to prepare for “schuchim” recipes, as well as inventing their variations. Over time, any dish, based on minced fish was called “gefilte fish” even fishcakes. Who recipes prescribing cook fish portions or as meatballs two – two and a half hours on low heat, are considered classics. During prolonged heat treatment fish bones soften, and hence choose them in the manufacture of meat can not so carefully.

The main difference between Western European and followed her American tradition – the sweet taste of gefilte fish. Was it due to the influence of Hasidism, which originated in Poland in the XVIII century (the Hasidim usually sweetened food, linking sugar with joy religious holiday), or with an abundance of Jews owned sugar factories, is not known. Anyway, by the middle of the XIX century Polish Jews prepared gefilte fish with sugar. Their nearest neighbors in Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine gefilte fish heavily seasoned with pepper and served with horseradish. Thus, Europe is divided notional boundary – gefilte fish line, which ran from north to south about 40 kilometers east of Warsaw. To the west of it stuffed fish cooked sweetened, east – peppered. However, any area of ​​the recipe has its own characteristics. And the debate – whether to remove the skin “stocking” or “vests”, oven or cook fish, cook it whole or in pieces, with or without vegetables, lemon or tomato juice – go so far.

Gefilte fish to associate with the holidays, when every woman aspires to please the family something special. On the festive table should reign abundance and diversity. A “big fish” such as pike, certainly one of its main decorations.

Tradition does not impose restrictions on the use of stuffed fish on weekdays. However, despite all the advances productivity drivers utensils, gefilte fish is very difficult course, not every day.


Stuffed pike
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
How many people: 6
Pike – 2.5-3 kg
Bulb – 2.5 pc.
Eggs – 2 pcs.
Hala – 1 pc.
Salt – 1 tsp.
Sugar – 1 tsp.
Black pepper – 0.5 tsp.
Sunflower oil – 3 tbsp. liter.
Water – 100 mL

1 Pike clean, remove the gills, eviscerated (leaving the head), cut the anal fins, wash out. From the peritoneum toward the back of the fingers gently separate the skin from the first one, then the other side of the pike. Scissors for fish pererezayem ridge near the head and in the tail, and then gently, so as not to damage the skin, separating it from the carcass.

2 Hal fill with water. Shred and fry until golden brown one onion. Cut away pike fillets and mince together with onion and prepared challah. In the resulting mass driven in 2 eggs, add salt, sugar and pepper to taste. Beat minced manually (not the mixer, otherwise the dish will souffle texture) as long as possible and give it a “rest” in the cold for 20 minutes.

3 Wet hand lay the stuffing under the skin, moving from tail to head. Attach the appropriate form and tied with twine (via a loop) from the neck to the tail.

4 Pike daubed oil in the mouth and gill slits of fish paste on the half onion. Bake in oven for 35 minutes at 160 degrees

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