Our modern take on the Passover classic transforms this often divisive dish into elegant quenelles made with salmon and cod rather than the traditional carp or pike.

Martha Stewart Living, April 2019


Credit: Chris Simpson

Recipe Summary

50 mins
2 hrs 5 mins
Serves 8 to 10


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium. Add chopped onion and carrots; season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl; let cool.

  • Return skillet to medium-high heat (do not wipe clean). Add remaining onion and carrot, celery, bay leaf, and peppercorns; toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 8 cups water, fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon salt; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup liquid and matzo meal. Cover skillet.

  • Meanwhile, slice 1/2 pound salmon into 10 strips, each about 1 inch thick and 2 inches long. Place on a plate, season with salt, cover, and refrigerate. Chop remaining 1 pound salmon into 1-inch pieces. Place chopped salmon and cod in a food processor with chopped-onion mixture, matzo-meal mixture, mustard, sugar, and dill. Add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; pulse until combined. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs on medium speed until foamy, 1 minute. Add fish mixture; beat until fluffy, about 7 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours.

  • Scoop fish mixture into 10 half-cup balls; transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. With dampened hands, press a salmon strip into each ball, then shape into an oval. Return liquid in skillet to a simmer. With a spoon, gently drop in fish ovals. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 15 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.

  • Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon, gently remove gefilte fish. Serve over escarole with lemons, cucumbers, radishes, matzos, and sauces.

Cook's Notes

In some Jewish traditions mustard is considered kitniyot and not allowed for Passover.