Mexican Gefilte Fish Recipe

I realize that for many traditionalists, fooling around with an old standard comes close to sacrilege. However, in my opinion, gefilte fish desperately needs help. In its usual form, it is at best, an acquired taste. This southwestern version receives fabulous reviews every time. Even people who dislike gefilte fish like this recipe. This is another example of how a somewhat boring Jewish recipe can be brightened up a lot with the fusion of ingredients from other communities.


1 ½ pounds ground fish (any combination of freshwater fish: whitefish, carp, pike, etc.)
2 onions, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 egg
¼ cup matzah meal
¼ cup ice water
1 16-ounce can stewed Mexican tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, very finely minced
1 teaspoon of Mexican seasoning
a dash of Mexican hot sauce or Tabasco
½ teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf

Fry onions in oil until dark brown.
Combine ½ fried onions with fish, carrot, matzah meal, egg and water.
Form into patties; fry in oil (brown both sides) and put in 9×13-inch baking dish. Mix remaining fried onions with sauce ingredients and pour over fish.
Bake at 325º F. for 1 hour.

This recipe may be served hot, cold or at room temperature.
Serves approximately 6-8.

About Rabbi Michael Sternfield

Michael Sternfield has been a Reform rabbi for 40 years, most recently serving at Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1995 until 2013. He served for 20 years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, and briefly as the leader of the Durban, South Africa Progressive Jewish Congregation during South Africa’s historic transition to multi-racial democracy. He is now based in Los Angeles, California.