Pressure Cooker Gefilte Fish in Jelled Broth is made from Whitefish and Pike and simmered in a flavorful Homemade Fish Stock.
Every Passover, every Seder, the meal starts with an appetizer of Gefilte Fish.
I have converted my Grandmother’s Homemade Gefilte Fish recipe for the Instant Pot, Mealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker. My hope is that you will love this recipe and keep my Grandma’s recipe alive, for years to come.
One word of advice – make sure you get an extra Silicone Sealing Ring to use for this recipe!
What is Gefilte Fish?
- Simply put, Gefilte Fish is boned and ground Whitefish and Pike, mixed with spices and filler ingredients, that have been poached in Fish Stock. Think of Gefilte Fish as a Jewish “meatball,” or a Fish Meatball.
- Gefilte Fish is generally served for Passover, Shabbos and other Jewish Holidays.
- Ashkenazi Jews typically serve Gefilte Fish as an appetizer.
- Long ago, the fish mixture used to be stuffed into the skin and cooked. This is no longer typical.
You may have to order your Whitefish and Pike in advance, as many fishmongers don’t keep this type of fish in stock.
You can also use Carp, Cod, Bass, Salmon, if you prefer a fishier taste.
If you are going to use Whitefish, make sure your Whitefish is Atlantic Whitefish from freshwater lakes in Nova Scotia, Canada.
There is another fish called Whitefish that comes from the ocean off of Mexico, which is an oily fish, so don’t confuse the two.
Jarred Gefilte Fish is pretty good really, but, you can totally customize your recipe, if you make it yourself. This Pressure Cooker Gefilte Fish is my very basic recipe and my preference is freshwater fish, Whitefish and Pike.
Ingredients for Fish Stock
- Fish Trimmings
- Unpeeled Onions
- Kosher Salt
- Sugar – I like to use Raw Demerara Sugar or use a Sugar Substitute to make it Low Carb
- White Pepper
- Fresh Water
If your butcher did not clean your fish, you will need to do it yourself.
Be careful to make sure that all the bones are removed from the fillets.
All the trimmings, head, tail, bones, skin, will be used for the Fish Stock.
How do you make Fish Stock?
- The Bones, Heads, Tails, Skin (all trimmings) from a whole Fish are tossed into the Pressure Cooker cooking pot.
- Onions and Seasonings are added and then covered with Fresh Water.
- On the stove, the Fish Stock would simmer for over an hour. The Pressure Cooker only takes 15 minutes.
How do you strain Fish Stock?
- When the cook time is up, grab a 3.5 Quart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl and a Fine Strainer.
- If you already have the RSVP Strainer Basket, try using that, but be careful to check that no bones slipped by.
- What is left after Straining out all the solids, is Fish Stock!
- While your Stock is cooking, mix up the Gefilte Fish Mixture and then put it into the refrigerator.
The easiest and quickest way to make your Pressure Cooker Gefilte Fish is to use a good Food Processor.
What ingredients are in Gefilte Fish?
- Whitefish and Pike (or Carp and Whitefish, or other varieties of mild fish and/or oily fish, like Salmon)
- Matzo Meal* – save yourself some money and use Matzo (assuming it is a staple in your house)
- Kosher Salt
- Sugar – I like to use Raw Demerara Sugar in the mix too (or leave it out if you are Low Carb).
- White Pepper
- Eggs – whole eggs or egg whites
Can Gefilte Be Made Gluten Free?
- Yes, use Potato Starch instead of Matzo Meal and omit the Sugar
Make sure to first process all the ingredients, except for the fish, in the Food Processor.
Once the ingredients are well processed, add in the fish and process until just combined. Make sure not to over process the fish, as it will turn to mush.
You can change up the ingredients and fish, if you like, so if you like it sweeter, add more sugar.
If you like it less sweet, omit the sugar.
While the Fish Broth is cooking, place the Mixing Bowl with the Gefilte Fix Mixture into the refrigerator.
It is easier to shape when it is very cold.
After the Fish Broth has been strained, rinse out the cooking pot and pour the broth back into the pot.
Remove the Fish from the refrigerator and start shaping the Gefilte Fish Mixture into Balls.
Don’t be scared about the Pressure Building up in the Pot. It won’t.
The Broth will just start to slightly simmer, or not, depending on how fast you shape the Gefilte Fish.
Use a Spoon or Spatula and slowly lower each piece of Gefilte Fish into the Hot Broth.
The Pressure Cooker Gefilte Fish will begin to float. Continue to add the Fish Balls, until all of them are in the pot.
Throw the Sliced Carrots in at the last second.
Some people like to make a log with their Gefilte Fish Mixture.
I made Balls and a Log with this batch, so I could show you what’s what.
So, with that being said…………………..
Here is how you can make your own Gefilte Fish Log and then freeze it for later.
How do you make a Gefilte Fish Log?
- Grab some Cheesecloth or Butter Muslin and plop the Gefilte Fish Mixture into the middle.
- Form the Gefilte Fish Mixture into a big ole log.
- Tightly roll up the Fish and tie it on the ends.
- Either use a Foodsaver and freeze the raw Gefilte Fish Log for another day, or add it to the pot of Fish Stock.
How do you cook a Frozen Gefilte Fish Log?
- To cook, place the frozen Gefilte Fish log into Pressure Cooker and add carrots, parsnips, onions, sugar, Fish Stock, Vegetable Stock or Water.
- Chill the Gefilte Fish Log and then remove the Cheesecloth or Butter Muslin and serve.
You can also find Frozen Gefilte Fish Logs in the grocery store and cook them in the Pressure Cooker.
Grab a set of Tongs and gently lower the Fresh or Frozen Gefilte Log into the Hot Broth.
Be careful not to burn yourself….remember, the Pot is heating up since it was already set to cook.
Floating Gefilte Fish!
The Gefilte Fish will expand as they cook and then float to the top.
Remove the Fish from the Stock and place into containers to cool.
Cover with the Fish Stock and refrigerate.
The Broth will firm up and become jelled.
Most people add some of the jelled Stock to the plate. I don’t like it, so I don’t put it on my plate.
For more Jewish recipes from my Grandmother’s kitchen, try my Pressure Cooker Jewish Noodle Kugel or my Pressure Cooker Jewish Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage.
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot, Mealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker
- J.A. Henckels Classic 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- di Oro Living Silicone Spatulas Set
- Alton Brown Salt Box
- Electric Pepper Mill
- 6 oz Porcelain Ramekins
- My FANTASTIC Teak Cutting & Charcuterie Board & Compartments
- Small 1.5 Quart “Pot in Pot” Mixing Bowl
- Silicone Sealing Ring – just for cooking fish
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Here is the handy printable recipe:
- 3.5 pounds Whole Whitefish and Pike (cleaned, trimmings and fillets separated)
- 2 large Carrots peeled/sliced
- Add Fish Trimmings (head, bones, skin), whole unpeeled Onions, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon White Pepper, 1 teaspoon Sugar and 3 quarts Fresh Water to Pressure Cooker cooking pot.
- Lock on Lid and close Pressure Valve. Cook at High Pressure for 15 minutes. When Beep sounds, allow a full Natural Pressure Release.
- While Stock is cooking, place 1 carrot, 1 peeled onion, 3 egg whites, 1 teaspoon Salt, ¼ teaspoon White Pepper, 2 teaspoons Sugar and Matzo Meal into the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined.
- Add Fish Fillets and pulse until Fish is incorporated, being careful not to turn the fish to mush. Transfer Mixture to a Bowl and place in refrigerator. Slice two carrots and set aside.
- When pressure has naturally released, strain Stock into a Bowl and discard solid matter. Rinse out Pressure Cooker cooking pot and add strained stock back into pot. Select Low Pressure and 10 minutes on the Pressure Cooker.
- Remove Fish from refrigerator and form into Oval/Egg Shaped Balls. Use a large spoon and gently place Fish Balls into the hot liquid. Add sliced Carrots to Pressure Cooker.
- Lock on Lid and close Pressure Valve. (Time has already been set.) When Beep sounds, allow a full Natural Pressure Release.
- Carefully remove Gefilte Fish and Carrots to a container and let cool for 15 minutes. Strain Fish Stock and pour over the Gefilte Fish.
- Place in refrigerator and allow to chill. Serve with Horseradish