There’s no gefilte fish at our house on Passover. My daughter Gillian is so allergic to fish that even the cooking vapors or opened cans/jars of fish can make her sick.
Also, we don’t like jarred gefilte fish. Maybe that’s a heretical thing to say, but, there, I’ve said it.
I’ve bought freshly made gefilte fish that Ed and I loved, from a market in Riverdale, but it’s too far from where I live to go there often.
I’ve made gefilte fish, back in the day, before Gillian was born. It’s a killer in terms of time and effort.
So, these days, if it’s not a family dinner and I can serve fish and need a good dish as an appetizer rather than main course, I make something like these tuna patties. They’re made of mashed fish mixed with seasonings, but unlike gefilte fish they don’t contain egg and matzo meal (but you can add some if you want fluffier patties). They’re sauteed, not poached. And I serve them with lemon-mayonnaise instead of horseradish.
Other than that they’re just like gefilte fish.
If you would like an alternative to gefilte fish, try these:
Tuna Patties with Lemon-Mayonnaise
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1-1/2 pounds fresh tuna
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 thick scallion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped serrano or jalapeno pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large egg, optional
5-6 tablespoons matzo meal, optional
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Mix the mayonnaise and lemon peel and set it aside. Chop the tuna into very fine pieces and place them in a bowl (you can use a food processor). Add the parsley, scallion, garlic, ginger, chili pepper and some salt and pepper to taste. Add the optional egg and matzo meal, if desired. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Shape the mixture into 16-20 small patties. Heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook the patties for 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crispy on both sides and cooked through. Serve with the lemon-mayonnaise.
Makes 8-10 first course servings