SHAVUOT – Modern Gefilte Fish

by Leah Halmagyi


  • 6 plate-size mackerel (1.4kg)
  • sea salt flakes and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 6 sticks celery
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 3 heads garlic, halved
  • 1 bunch thyme, chopped
  • 6 juniper berries, crushed
  • 2 brown onions, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1¼ cups matzo meal
  • 2 eggs1 bunch chives, finely sliced


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves: 6

1 Fillet, skin and pin-bone the fish, then sprinkle the fillets with salt and set aside. Wash the remainder of the fish thoroughly until the water runs clear, then combine in a large saucepan with 4 sticks of celery roughly chopped, three carrots, parsnip, 2 halved heads of garlic, half the thyme and the juniper berries. Cover with water then simmer gently for 1 hour. Allow to cool, then strain.
2 Sauté the onion and minced remaining garlic in extra virgin olive oil for 5 minutes until softened. Allow to cool. Rinse the fish, then combine with the onions and mince finely. Beat in the matzo meal and eggs, then form into 18 discs.
3 With the broth simmering, poach the fish cakes with the remaining carrot and sliced remaining celery for 5 minutes. Add the chives then serve.