Recipe by Family Table

The Bobover Rebbetzin’s Sweet and Sour Salmon

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Parve Parve
Easy Easy
6 Servings

No Allergens specified

In a scene familiar in many homes, the Rebbetzin’s kitchen would get hectic on Erev Shabbos, with pots boiling over and mounds of food everywhere, but all of the preparation was done with love. One Erev Shabbos, the Rebbetzin was transferring cooked fish to a pot when the whole pan slipped and fell, and the fish was ruined. She immediately shrugged it off and said, “It’s min haShamayim, and since it’s a mitzvah to prepare fish for Shabbos, I’ll start again!” The special foods that we have the minhag to serve on Shabbat and Yom Tov have spiritual significance. For example, the gematria of fish is 7, hinting that one who eats fish on the seventh day is saved from dinei Gehinnom (daled gimmel — also equal to 7).


Sweet and Sour Salmon

  • 6 slices fresh salmon

  • 5 tablespoons vinegar

  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 onion, sliced in rings

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 4–5 peppercorns

  • 3 lemon slices, without the rind

  • 4–5 cups water

  • 8 cloves garlic

  • crucial ingredient that gave it its special flavor: a short “l’kavod Shabbos Kodesh!”


Prepare the Sweet and Sour Salmon


Combine all ingredients except the salmon and the cloves in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Taste the mixture. It should be sweet and sour. If necessary, add more vinegar or sugar, or lemon juice, to taste.


Add the salmon and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cloves. Let sit for an hour to cool.


Discard the onion and the liquid, but save the rest to decorate the plate. Rebbetzin Halberstam used the bay leaves, peppercorns, lemon, carrot, and cloves to design flowers.


Photography by Hudi Greenberger

The Bobover Rebbetzin’s Sweet and Sour Salmon

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1 year ago
1 year ago

was a hit!! great traditional fish!