Gefilte Fish & Matzo Ball Passover Recipes from the CIA




Serves 8 as a first course


Poaching Liquid:

8 cups fish broth

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, sliced

1 bay leaf


Gefilte Fish:

1 pound pike fillets, diced and chilled

1 pound whitefish fillets, diced and chilled

1 large onion, grated

6 egg whites, chilled

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon finely ground pepper

¼ cup ice water

¼ cup matzo meal


Beet Preserves (recipe below)

Fresh horseradish

5 green onions, white and green portions, cut into julienne

1 large carrot, cut into julienne


To make the poaching liquid:

Combine all the poaching liquid ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.


To make the gefilte fish: Combine all the gefilte fish ingredients in a food processor and process for 15 seconds. Use a small serving spoon to scrape out a spoonful of the mixture against the side of the bowl. Using another small serving spoon, shape the gefilte fish into a dumpling by gently pushing the mixture off the other spoon and dropping it into the simmering poaching liquid. Continue until all of the fish mixture has been made into dumplings.

Cook the gefilte fish until all the dumplings float to the liquid’s surface, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let the dumplings cool in their poaching liquid for 30 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate until the broth has jelled, about 4 hours or overnight.

Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the dumplings from the jelled broth and place on chilled plates. Serve with beet preserves, fresh horseradish, julienned green onion, and carrot.




Serves 8 as a soup course


Matzo Balls:

1¾ cups matzo meal

6 eggs, beaten

1 cup water

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons finely ground pepper

½ cup rendered chicken fat, melted


8 cups chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Optional garnish: see Chef’s Tips below


Combine the matzo meal, eggs, water, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process for 15 to 20 seconds. Add the chicken fat and pulse just until the fat is incorporated. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.


Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a simmer over low heat. Wet your hands and form the matzo mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter. (For Knaidlach mit Neshomes, see Chef’s Tips below.) Gently drop the balls into the simmering water. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes, or until firm and cooked through.


Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. When the matzo balls are cooked, transfer them with a slotted spoon to warmed soup plates or bowls. Ladle the hot broth onto the matzo balls, garnish if you like, and serve.


Chef’s Tips:

A garnish of thinly sliced green onion (green and white portions), cooked peas, and/or julienne-cut blanched carrot and parsnip adds greatly to this dish.

To make Knaidlach mit Neshomes (Matzo Balls with a Surprise), form the matzo balls around a bit of browned onion or chicken cracklings.



Makes 8 servings (about 1½ cups)


1 cup grated peeled raw beets

¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup sugar

½ small onion, grated

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper


Combine all of the ingredients in a small nonreactive pan and simmer gently over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Chill well before serving.


Chef’s Tip: Beet preserves may be made up to 3 days in advance. To hold them, put them in a clean container, cover and refrigerate.


The recipes are copyright The Culinary Institute of America, with thanks to Chef Morey Kanner, associate professor of culinary arts.