'Gefilte Fish The Sephardic Way'

Published: March 14th 2010

Pic: Fotolia

As a young girl, I was taught when Purim arrives it’s time to start getting ready for Passover. Spring cleaning, shopping...with our busy schedules it all boils down to one thing: “organization.” During this week of so many dietary limitations, with no eating out and everyone seeming to be hungry, moms need to plan a week’s worth of good hearty meals.


Spring produce is in the stores and the choices are plentiful. Asparagus, artichokes, leeks and zucchini are among some of the delicious vegetables you can build your meals around. A good idea is to prepare mains of soups, roasted chickens or beef.  These can be made in advance. Sides and salads can be prepared just before the meal. There are endless recipes for potatoes that are great fillers. Utilize the sweet potato. It is the healthiest vegetable in the world and contains the least amount of carbohydrates.


My son’s favourite food on Passover is my Sephardic Fish Balls. I would prepare this dish for my children as soon as they were eating solids, as it is very nutritious and what kid doesn’t like tomato sauce? The fish preparation is similar to gefilte fish as it uses white fish and pike with the addition of eggs, matzo meal and seasonings. The main difference is that I prepare small fish patties in a flavourful tomato sauce. The key to making this dish successfully is to buy fresh fish and cook it the same day. 


You can make the patties into whatever shape you like. I form mine into little kebobs. I would suggest using a heavy bottomed wide pot so the patties can lie in one layer. If you have more than one layer of patties, cover the pot for a couple of minutes allow the patties to set and then continue to place the remaining patties on top. Do not stir with any utensils, but gently swirl the sauce around the patties while holding the pot's handles. This dish can be made in advance and even gets better the next day!


Sephardic ‘Gefilte’ Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce


·         2 lbs fresh ground white fish & pike

·         2 eggs

·         ½ cup bread crumbs or matzo mea

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         1 teaspoon kosher salt

·         ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

·         ½ teaspoon paprika

·         4 garlic cloves finely minced

·         1/3 cup parsley or cilantro


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