I like to fish; and I catch lots of bonefish like carp, pike, sucker, or whitefish every time I go fishing. Bonefish have bones in the meet and making a boneless fillet from bonefish is almost impossible. Just finding the bones in the meat is a daunting task if you don’t know where to find them. Well I found a cure for this daunting task, Gefilte Fish.
Gefilte Fish is ground fish meat in a patty, ether poached like a dumpling, or deep fried, the way my son’s and I like them. Grinding the skinless bonefish fillets breaks up the small bones in the meat and separates the bones that won’t pass through the grinder. Since I started cooking gefilte fish my son’s stopped complaining about bones in fish.
This is my deep fried carp gefilte fish recipe; it is made with the usual gefilte fish ingredients with my personal touch to make it different. It is good hot or cold, with tartar sauce or horseradish, my oldest boy can’t get enough gefilte fish when I cook it. He likes the fact the small bones are ground up too small to find or taste.
Gefilte Fish can be made from just about any fish like trout, salmon, bass, and even salt water fish like haddock or cod, so first go fishing because the best fish are fresh caught.
Step 1: Dressing Carp
I’m back from fishing and it is time to clean the carp, dressing a carp is tantamount to breaking into a Sherman tank with a butter knife. The scales are steadfast plates of armor that remind me of pulling teeth and the sharpest of knifes can’t cut through them. The easiest way to dress a carp, go around the scales.
Lay the carp on your cutting board scales and all.
Place the tip of your knife in the anal vent of the carp with the sharp edge towards the head.
Cut the belly flesh from the inside out towards the scales and continue the cut to the carp’s head. Cutting from the inside out; cuts the soft flesh and your knife goes around the scales, or brakes the scales grip on the skin and the scales fall out.
Remove all the icky stuff inside the carp; the icky stuff only get in the way of dressing the carp if you don’t.
With the gill cut you make the cut in the same manner as the belly cut; make your cut from the inside out behind the pectoral fin and gill flap up to the dorsal line. And just like the belly cut the knife goes around the scales or breaks the scales grip on the skin.
With the dorsal cut; you cut in the same manner as the other two cuts, from the inside out only this time scraping the spine and rib bones separating the filet from the carp down to the tail leaving a piece of skin still attached from the filet to the tail.
Place the filet scales down on the cutting board and remove the pelvic fin.
Next hold the fish by the tail and slip the sharp edge of the knife between the meat of the filet and the skin.
Rock the knife as you pull it between the meat and the skin separating the filet from the skin.
Place the filet in a bowl of cold water and repeat the process for the other side of the carp.
Step 2: Ingredients & Equipment
2.2 pounds or 1kg of carp filet cubed.
2 to 3 good size carrots, about 4 cups grated.
1 large onion, about 1 cups diced or grated.
1.1 pounds or 700g bread crumbs or matzo meal.
4 large eggs.
Garlic Cloves or Garlic Powder.
Liquid Smoke (Hickory Flavor).
Horseradish or Tartar sauce.
Oil for Deep Frying.
Deep Frying Pan
¼ Cup Measuring Spoon
Step 3: Prepping the Filets
Before marinating leach all the blood out of the filets. Place the filets in a bowl of cold water and place it in the fridge checking it every couple hours. When the water is bloody, rinse the filets with clean cold water and soak in the fridge. Repeat this step until the water no longer gets bloody then cut the filets in strips.
Leaching the blood out of the filets prevents the blood from tainting the flavor of the filets.
Step 4: Marinating the Carp Filets
Start by marinating 2.2 pounds or 1kg of carp filets after all the blood has been leached out. I do this by soaking the filets in a shallow dish with these ingredients.
1oz of Soy sauce
1oz of Worcestershire sauce
1oz of Liquid Smoke (Hickory Flavor)
Fresh crushed Garlic or Garlic Powder
Add water until the fish is covered and place in fridge for 20 minutes to overnight depending how strong the fish is. I like to marinate Pike and Bass for 20 minutes, and Carp overnight.
Step 5: Preparing the Fish Balls or Dumplings.
Dice Garlic and place in bowl.
Dice 1 large onion and place in bowl, about two cups.
Grate 2 to 3 good size carrots and place in bowl, about 4 cups.
Add black pepper and Parsley.
Mix everything together and grind.
Next grind the strips of carp filets, this breaks up and separates the small bones in the filets, larger bones get trapped in the grinder making the filets boneless. Mix the ground ingredients together and add the rest of the ingredients.
Add 4 large eggs.
Add ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil or corn oil.
Add 1.1 pounds or 1/2kg bread crumbs or matzo meal.
Mix the ingredients thoroughly, roll into balls, and flatten into patties, then place the patties on wax paper laid out on a cookie sheet. I used a ¼ cup measuring spoon to make sure all the patties are roughly the same size. Then leave in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
Step 6: Deep Frying
Always put frying pan handles into stove to avoid accidents.
Add oil to a pot deep enough to cover patties for frying, about 3 inches deep.
Heat on medium, it is hot enough when a sprinkling of matzo meal or bread crumbs sizzles in the oil about 370⁰ F.
With a spoon add as many patties to the oil as will fit without crowding the pan. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, at which point patties should be crispy and golden brown on the outside.
Check that the fish is cooked all the way through.
Step 7: Serve
And the Gefilte Fish is ready to serve. Serve hot or cold with tartar sauce or horseradish.