Recipe by Candice Walker

Salmon Gefilte Fish with Fennel and Tarragon

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Parve Parve
Easy Easy
6 Servings

Gefilte fish is a fish cake poached in broth that has a texture like matzo balls. They are delicious served as soup, or as an appetizer on radicchio or endive.   Yields 12 patties



  • food processor or sharp knife

Salmon Gefilte Fish with Fennel and Tarragon

  • 1 and 1/2 pound salmon (I use a combination of coho and sockeye. You can use any salmon you like).

  • 2 yellow onions both, peeled and cut into eigths

  • 3 carrots or 2 large

  • 3 stalks celery

  • 1 large fennel or 2 small

  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs, measured and packed (I use tarragon and cilantro)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon flavorless oil like Gefen Canola, sunflower seed, or vegetable

  • 1/4 cup Gefen Matzo Meal

  • salt, to taste

  • pepper, to taste

  • radicchio or endive for serving


Prepare the Stock


Fill your widest pot with water so it is at least four inches deep. I use a 13-inch diameter pot and need three quarts or 12 cups of water.


Add one peeled onion cut into six to eight pieces, two stalks of celery cut into two-inch pieces, half your fennel, cut into two-inch chunks, and the peeled carrots cut into one to two-inch pieces, depending on how thick they are.


Season with one to two teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.

Prepare the Gefilte Fish


While your water is coming to a boil, prepare your fish. Start by pulsing the second roughly chopped onion, remaining roughly chopped fennel, and remaining roughly chopped celery stalk. Pulse it until it looks finely chopped.


Prepare your fish by remove the skin, and cutting into one to two-inch cubes. Add this fish and the fresh herbs to the food processor. Pulse until it’s chopped and combined. The fish pieces can remain on the larger side. You don’t want it to blend together and get mushy.


Transfer the fish mixture to a large bowl and add the eggs, oil, matzo meal, one to two teaspoons of salt, and one teaspoon freshly cracked pepper. Using your hands, mix together until combined.


Roll the mixture with wet hands and mold it into two to three-inch ovals, sort of shaped like a large Madeleine. The water on your hands keeps the fish mixture from sticking.


Gently drop them into the boiling water. Make sure your water comes back up to a boil, lower it to a simmer, and cover it. Cook for 20-25 minutes.


  They’re freezer friendly! Make these in advance, or enjoy the easiness of the 40-minute recipe just before your guests arrive.
It is delicious served with all sorts of accompaniments like pickled red onions, carrots, fennel, pickled peppers, & radishes.
This recipe works great with cod, trout, the classic carp, or a combination of fish.
You can also use Panko or breadcrumbs instead of the matzo meal.
Make sure your hands remain wet when forming the gefilte fish. The water on your hands helps keep the fish mixture from sticking to you.
If you don’t want to make individual patties, you can make this recipe meatloaf style by pouring the mixture into a greased 12-cup bundt pan or loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour to get lovely slices of gefilte fish.   With a day of refrigeration, they have the density of jarred gefilte fish – but they taste SO much better! Start with really fresh fish and you will be in heaven.
Bring your gefilte fish up a notch with homemade beet horseradish. I peel a chunk of horseradish, shave it into my food processor, add a chopped and peeled raw beet or two, add a pinch of salt, process until fine, spoon into a jar and stir in enough white or wine vinegar to moisten well. Adjust salt and sugar to taste. Cover and keep refrigerated. Just be careful not to breathe in or get your eyes too close while processing! It’s strong stuff.


This recipe is originally found at ProportionalPlate.com.

Salmon Gefilte Fish with Fennel and Tarragon

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