Fried Gefilte Fish seem to be a singularly British Jewish food, made with minced fish, onions and spices and fried for a lovely crisp on the outside, soft on the inside bite. They are extremely addictive, once you get over the horror of fish having balls of course, à la, Robin Williams in “Good Morning Vietnam”!
About a year ago, I posted a recipe for the traditional Gefilte fish, and as I explained then, the word Gefilte means “stuffed fish” in Yiddish, and this is how you say it:
Gelfite = gə-ˈfil-tə-(guh-fil-tuh)
In the year that I worked in North London, in a very Jewish area, the fried versions were the ones that I was most familiar with; my lunch was very often fried gefilte fish balls, some freshly made falafels and also Sabih (Sabich), a pita sandwich of boiled eggs and eggplants, all three still making my list of favourite foods! Imagine my surprise on my first trip to Israel, when all I could find were the traditional, poached kinds as in this post. It was only when I got back to London that I discovered that the fried versions are apparently, a very British Jewish tradition.
My fried recipe is exactly as the poached one, the only difference is of course, in the cooking! It’s always a good idea to use different types of fish, a minimum of two but 3 or 4 is ideal – this gives different dimensions of flavours to your final product. For more pictures of the minced fish and the final gefilte fish paste, have a look at the traditional gefilte fish recipe.
Serve hot or cold with a green salad, great for picnics, lunch boxes and definitely at parties as finger food!
Try serving each one at the end of a cocktail stick with some cucumber and cherry tomato with a spicy mayo dip on the side. Just add a little chilli sauce to some mayo and mix it up – done!
You might also be interested in my other Middle Eastern recipes.
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Fried Gefilte Fish - a British Jewish Tradition