Recipe: Gefilte Fish Balls in the Food Processor

Wednesday is Recipe Day at CookingManager.Com.

Instructions are included for preparation both with and without a food processor.

These came out so well for my son’s Bar Mitzvah that I plan to make another batch in honor of Rosh Hashanah.

Serves ten as an appetizer. Use a small egg when making half a recipe.


For fish stock:

  • Fish bones, skin and head
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled or scraped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • A few peppercorns or ground pepper
  • Water to cover

For the batter:

  • One carrot, peeled
  • One onion, peeled
  • 1/2 kg. (1 lb.) fresh fish fillets or ground fish. I used carp, but whitefish or pike are also common and you can combine more than one type.)
  • 1/4 cup matzah meal, cracker crumbs,  or  bread crumbs
  • One egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  1. Set the fish stock up to boil by covering the ingredients with water. Let stock simmer for half an hour or so, while you are preparing the balls.
  2. Cut the onion, carrot and fish into large chunks.
  3. Place the onion and carrot in the food processor bowl and process until fine.  (Note: We think of “grating” vegetables but for most recipes the food processor’s steel “S” blade works as well or better than the grater attachment.)
  4. Add the fish and process until fine. If the are using ground fish, process until mixed.
  5. Add other ingredients and process until mixed. See tip below.
  6. Use wet hands to form the batter into balls. Add balls to the simmering stock.
  7. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Check for doneness by cutting one in half. The fish should be a uniform color throughout with no pinkness.

Alternative method for large quantities

  1. Process the carrot and onion or grate by hand.
  2. Empty grated vegetables into a large bowl.
  3. Grate or process fish, if necessary, and add to bowl.
  4. Add other ingredients
  5. Mix with hands or a wooden spoon.
  6. Form into balls and cook as above.

Tip from my neighbor the caterer: If the batter is not moist enough add a water one drop at a time until you can make cohesive, but moist, balls. Adding more egg will make the fish heavy.

Serve hot or cold with a jar of prepared horseradish sauce.

A woman in my synagogue said she freezes the fish balls and boils them in water before serving to eliminate the soggy taste left by freezing. My neighbor the caterer recommends making fresh.

Fish spoils quickly so handle it carefully. Place the fish in shallow containers and refrigerate when still quite warm.

Save some of the cooked carrot and onion along with the stock to serve with the fish. I like to serve the fish on individual plates with a piece of lettuce, a slice of onion and topped with a round carrot “coin.” Prepare the plates an hour or two in advance and keepe in the refrigerator on a tray for fast serving.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like:

Low-Fat Turkey Meatloaf

Lentils with Onions and Garlic

Bar Mitzvah Menu Planning


  1. I had a friend who lived on fried fish balls as a child in England. That and cucumbers was all she would eat till she was a teenager. Her mother also made the batter in the food processor.

  2. This sounds delicious.

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