For a gentile, Gefilte Fish is typically regarded as a punchline or as one of two kosher foods that we know, the other being Matzo. Until today I didn’t even know what it really consisted of. Turns out it is several kinds of fish, matzo meal, eggs and some other ingredients depending on who makes it. Mine was off the shelf in jelled broth.
I figured I might as well get the jelled broth instead of the liquid, when I make stock or broth I am shooting for jelled, so even though the texture might be a bit odd my mind assumes jelled is likely to be a better product. I did some research and found out that is is often served chilled with lettuce, matzo crackers and horseradish. I planned on trying it plain out of the jar but wanted some traditional accouterments. Sadly I didn’t have matzo, lettuce or the right kind of horseradish in the house so a rye cracker, white horseradish and sriracha would have to be my stand ins.
When I opened the jar I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as smell, it was actually pretty nice, much like any canned or jarred fish. If you have smelled tuna you have smelled gefilte fish. It was pretty dense and was easy to pull out of the jar. I took a taste of the broth on the spoon and it was bland but not bad at all. Mild fish flavor and the jelled texture goes away immediately as it melts. I make and use fish stock pretty regularly and it had a similar flavor. I split the cake in half and took a look at the texture inside, it looked as dense as it felt, very even and smooth.
I went in for a bite and was quite pleased, it had a mild fish flavor that was not at all overpowering. The texture was surprisingly light for how dense it looked and felt. I smeared the rest of one half onto a rye cracker with some horseradish and the results were excellent. The horseradish and rye were perfect compliments to the mildness of the fish. They really brought the flavor it was lacking on its own.
I spread the second half on another cracker and dropped on some sriracha and as expected it worked its magic and turned the bland gefilte fish into something worth eating. All in all I would say that gefilte fish doesn’t offer a whole lot on its own but with some seasonings it is actually quite delicious. The remaining 5 pieces will almost certainly make their way into salads in lieu of tuna or possibly rolled in some egg and cracker meal for a quick frying. I think it will be a tasty croquette.
So if you are ever staring down a piece of gefilte fish, unsure what to do with it, I’d say try it. If you don’t even feel like getting off your couch, you can order it online.