South African Whitefish Tart Recipe

While serving a congregation in South Africa, I became acquainted with a fish called snoek, which actually has no equivalent in North America. However, I have found that smoked Lake Superior whitefish is an excellent substitute. This is an excellent brunch dish.


About 1 ¼ pound of ready-made pie dough.
You can make your own dough if you are motivated but the ready-made variety works just fine.

2 pounds smoked whitefish, with the skin and bones removed
¼ cupcake flour
3 ½ cups whole milk
¼ cup butter/margarine
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 eggs, separated
1 cup grated mature Cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons chutney
1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley


Line two pie plaes with the pastry and neaten the edges.
Refrigerate until needed.
Flake the smoked fish finely.
Mix the flour thoroughly with 1 cup of the milk.
Bring the rest of the milk and the butter/margarine to the boil.
Remove from the stove and quickly beat in the flour mixture.
Put back on the stove and bring to the boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning,
As soon as the sauce boils, remove it from the stove and let it cook to lukewarm.

Meanwhile, fry the onion in the oil until golden brown.
Beat the egg yolks well and stir them into the lukewarm sauce.
Add the fish and egg and mix well. Stir in the cheese, chutney and parsley.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the fish mixture.
Spoon the filling into the uncooked pastry shells.
Bake the tarts about 60 to 70 minutes in a preheated oven at 325 °F.

Serve either warm or at room temperature.
Makes 2 medium tarts.

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.