Homemade Pan-Fried Gefilte Fish for a Haute Passover Seder

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Pan fried gefilte fish are the gefilte fish for gefilte haters. Think of them as Kosher crab cakes (is it sacrilegious to even imagine Kosher crab cakes?) or Seder salmon croquettes. There is no jar jelly to contend with (anyone who’s been tasked with plating gefilte fish for their family’s Seder knows about this gross gefilte byproduct); and you can make homemade gefilte fish using high quality, socially responsible fish (check Seafood Watch before shopping for the best choices). Bubbie might miss the traditional cold gefilte (a Jewish staple that, like the jello mold, should have gone out of style in the 70’s) but everyone else, Elijah included, will appreciate the change.

Pan Fried Gefilte Fish Recipe

When I mentioned the concept of making homemade gefilte fish, my mother, mother-in-law, and husband all had the same reaction. “Stinky!” They warned me that gefilte fish would smell up the house for days. The traditional way of making gefilte fish involves boiling fish, which sends the fish odor bubbling into the air, permeating the far corners of one’s abode. This gefilte fish recipe, however, calls for pan-frying. While your house will smell a bit fishy, it’s no worse than a typical fish dinner.

I got the idea for the pan fried gefilte fish from Jill at Hey, That Tastes Good! Jill modified a recipe from the Jewish cookbook Love and Knishes [paid link] to make hers. Here is my modified version of Jill’s modified version:

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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Pan-Fried Gefilte Fish

You can make homemade gefilte fish using high quality, socially responsible fish.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Jewish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 43kcal
Author Stefani


  • 1/2 lb salmon de-boned and skinned
  • 1/2 lb whitefish deboned and skinned (you can substitute with any light fish of your choice)
  • 1/2 large onion minced
  • 1 large carrot minced
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground dill
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp matzoh meal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • canola oil for frying


  • Cut the salmon and whitefish into inch-sized cubes. Pulse in a food processor until the fish turns into a big glob of fishy mush.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix the fish with all of the other ingredients until well combined. I followed Jill's advice and used my hands. It doesn't smell good, but it's a good de-stressor.
  • Form the fish into patties about the size of a flattened golf ball.
  • Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add as many fish patties as you can fit at a time.
  • Cook until well browned on one side (a few minutes).
  • Flip and cook the other side (another few minutes).
  • Repeat until all of the gefilte fish are cooked.
  • Serve hot with horseradish.


Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 109mg | Vitamin A: 540IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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Yes, I’m Going to Go There

Coming up next: gefilte fish cupcakes.

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  1. Cathy Lichtmansays:

    Question: I usually make gefilte fish and have the fish ground at market. Can I have the fish ground there for these as well? The do it pretty gloppy. These look delicious, but I don’t want them to be runny.

  2. Pengetahuansays:

    Heya i’m for the primary time here. I came across this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to give something again and help others like you aided me.

  3. KosherKurly Girlsays:

    To prevent that fish smell from permeating your household,you keep a dish of chlorine bleach by the stove during the cooking. It works,don’t ask me how!

  4. rochellerochellesays:

    My nana used to make the gefilte fish for our seder and after she passed away i think my aunt bought it. I hate it. So gross…but I love fried gefilte fish balls that they sell at Glicks (in Melbourne)!!!!! So good-funny how frying stuff makes it all better. Will check out your gefilte fish cupcakes next for more ewwwwww!!!

  5. Heather Broadsays:

    My husband, his brother and their father love gefilte fish and eat it smothered with horseradish… while the rest of us try not to gag. As the lone Gentile sitting at Passover Seder, I’m going to be the most popular at the table this year when I bring these lovely little gefilte-cakes! The “stinky three” as we call them, can have the cold gefilte and the jar jelly all to themselves this year!

  6. Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lanesays:

    When I first saw this I thought – that’s a funny looking cupcake! …

    But it looks really yummy, the idea of stuffed fish is so cool :) And I agree about the fishy smell – it’s not that bad!

  7. welovefursays:

    I’m so greedy and your blog is delicious.
    I’m a blogger but fashion fur blogger take a look at my blog http://www.welovefur.blogspot.com
    Gnammy gnammy
    With love and chocolate :=)

  8. welovefursays:

    I’m so greedy and your blog is delicious.
    I’m a blogger but fashion fur blogger take a look at my blog http://www.welovefur.blogspot.com
    Gnammy gnammy
    With love and chocolate :=)

  9. Daphnesays:

    An easy — and less smelly — alternative to this recipe is to buy a loaf of frozen gefilte fish (available at kosher supermarkets, and often in the kosher freezer section of regular supermarkets). Defrost the loaf, doctor it up as suggested, create small patties and fry them up.

  10. minifysays:

    I have never loved your blog more than I do right now. This post was fantastic, made me laugh, almost made me want to try gefilte again!

  11. byronsays:

    i like gefilte, and i like the jar jelly mixed with matza meal, to make a find of fishy malt-o-meal (what can I say, it grows hairs on u, but it’s good)

  12. Terrisays:

    While I’m not crazy about gefilte fish, these sound like a much better alternative. might have to convince the seder maker for the family (aka my mother)to make these or watch me cook in her kitchen. Thanks for sharing, I might also be making your kosher for passover cupcakes for the seder. This week ,I will be trying out the cherry coke cupcakes as my cola extract finally came in the mail.

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