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Salmon Gefilte Fish

Yield Makes 4 to 6 servings
Instead of the traditional whitefish, this gefilte fish is made with salmon and a Western white-flesh fish, giving it a pretty pale pink color and rich flavor. Serve over salad greens with horseradish sauce. Notes: Wild salmon is sometimes in short supply. Luckily, Alaska is a reliable source for the wild fish. You can serve the gefilte fish warm or cold; if you like, make it a day ahead and chill.


  • Broth:
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 fish or chicken bouillon cubes
  • Gefilte fish:
  • 3/4 pound boned and skinned salmon, cut into 1-in. chunks (see Notes)
  • 3/4 pound boned and skinned white-flesh fish such as lingcod or rockfish, cut into 1-in. chunks
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Horseradish sauce and salad:
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 to 1 1/2 qt. mixed salad greens, rinsed, dried, and chilled to crisp
  • Dill pickle spears
  • Salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. For broth, in a 5- to 6-qt. pan, combine onion, carrots, celery, peppercorns, 2 qt. water, and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 45 minutes. Pour broth through a colander into a bowl. Discard seasonings and return broth to pan. Set aside.

  2. For gefilte fish, pulse half of salmon and lingcod at a time in a food processor until finely chopped; do not purée. Scrape into a large bowl. Whirl onion in processor until smoothly puréed and add to fish with eggs, 1/3 cup matzo meal, pepper, and salt; stir until blended. Mixture should be just firm enough to hold its shape when formed into a ball with your hands. If too soft, stir in 2 to 3 tbsp. more matzo meal.

  3. With your hands, pat fish mixture, 2 tbsp. at a time, into smooth balls and set slightly apart on a plate. Rinse hands frequently in cool water to prevent sticking.

  4. Bring broth in pan to a boil over high heat; adjust heat to simmer. Add enough fish balls to pan to make a single layer without crowding. Simmer, uncovered, until balls are opaque when cut in center, about 10 minutes.

  5. Lift gefilte fish from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, draping fish with foil if you'll be serving it warm (see Notes). Repeat to cook remaining fish.

  6. For horseradish sauce, in a bowl, combine sour cream, horseradish, and dill.

  7. Arrange salad greens on individual plates or a platter. Lay fish on greens and accompany with pickles, horseradish sauce, and salt to taste.