Friday, March 23, 2007

the "other" gefilte fish

this one is for those people who hate [gefilte] fish or are allergic to it and comes in extremely useful at yomtov [holiday time]. it is an old recipe for a facsimile of the most jewish of appetizers and uses ground chicken or turkey of all things.

having made this many times, i can say it's "nisht geferlach" [loosely translated .... "not too shabby!"] and worth trying once. in yiddish, it is called falsher which means false. in ultra religious circles from which the recipe originates, rules are strictly adhered to; who knows, the fish may have consumed bread before it was bought and not digested it making it not kosher for the holiday! a definite no-no at pessah.

this can also be made gluten free [no matzo meal] by using potato starch.

remember, pictures to follow one of these days. for now, use your imagination.

falsher [gefilte chicken or turkey]

16 portions, approximately


10 c chicken stock
2 onions, sliced
5 stalks celery, sliced
5 carrots, sliced thinly

salt & pepper
sugar, optional

2 lbs ground chicken or turkey
2 eggs
1/2 c matzo meal or potato starch


in big pot, place the stock with 1 onion, 3 stalks of celery and 3 carrots. bring to boil and then simmer.

in a food processor or grinder (or by hand with the classic wooden bowl and hackmesser), place chicken or turkey with the rest of the onion, celery and carrots. process/grind/chop until all is well blended. place this in a bowl. i like to grind the vegetable a bit first if using the food processor.

add eggs, matzo meal or potato starch, with a 1/2 c of stock and then season with salt and pepper. add sugar if using. the mixture will be very, very soft.

with wet hands, make it the same way you would gefilte fish balls. they will expand as they cook also.

place these carefully into the stock which has been brought to a boil.

cover and simmer for at least a half hour. they don't need to boil for hours as with the fish.

nota bene: do a small test before by boiling a small piece to check for salt and pepper.

garnish as you would with traditional gefilte fish on a bed of lettuce.



Chanita Harel חני הראל said...

אצלנו קוראים לזה בייליק פיש, מאוד מאוד אוהבת
מקוה שתחזור לפה בקרוב

Allergic Girl® said...

no pixs? we need the pix!! ;-) this sounds great esp as im not a gefilte gal....

burekaboy — said...

חנית שלום רב לך - מצטייר שעוד לא כתבתי לך, לא שחכתי אותך

זמן רב ששמעתי המילים האלה: בייליק פיש .גם אני אוהב אותו הרבה .זה פורשפייס מאוד טיים

באמת רוצה לחזור לארץ בקרוב -- נראה


hey there allergic girl - i know, no pix! can you believe it?? my kitchen wasn't kashered when i wrote these up so i couldn't make anything. pictures will return shortly now that i've got things more under control.

i actually love gefilte fish but this is a pretty good imitation of it.

happy holidays if i don't speak to you beforehand. p.s. i got your email.

Anonymous said...

It's been absolute yonks since I've had some of my mother's wonderful falsher, and now it seems serendipitous that I've come across your blog as my fish-phobic daughter is coming for Shabbat.

My mother used to make this on an almost-weekly basis, the only difference is that her version had flecks of carrot in with the chicken.

The last time I was visiting my mom I stole her hockmesser and wooden bowl (okay, she gave them to me). This Friday they will get a good workout, thanks!

burekaboy — said...

mirjam - glad you found your way to my blog! this recipe is actually very good as a substitute to the traditional fish. i'm sure adding carrot to the mix will make it even better, especially when made with your mom's hackmesser & wooden bowl. things of the past, n'est-ce pas? enjoy your "fish" - lemme know how it turns out. hope you enjoy it.

~~louise~~ said...

Hi bb,
A little late but I just came over to borrow this link for a Mock Recipe post I did. Thanks so much. Once again, it will fit right in. Here's the link if you want to check it out.