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Boulettes de Poisson à la Sauce Tomate

June 18, 2021
Boulettes de Poisson à la Sauce Tomate

Gefilte fish is about as polarizing as a Jewish dish can be. At any given Passover Seder, there are the people who love these ground fish balls, served cold and crowned with horseradish or a floppy carrot medallion—diehards who ask for seconds, then stand around after dinner sneaking spoonfuls of “jelly” from the pan (or worse, the jar). Then there are those, myself included, who suppress a horrified nose-wrinkle while passing plates of the gray-hued stuff around the table.

Featured in: Beyond Gefilte Fish


For the sauce

  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1small onion, finely chopped
  • 3cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1teaspoon sugar
  • ½teaspoon salt

For the fish balls

  • 1pound white fish filets (I used sole), rinsed and thoroughly patted dry
  • ¼cup matzoh meal
  • 1egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 3tablespoons finely chopped parsley, plus more for serving
  • lemon wedges for serving
Yield: Serves 4


To make the sauce

Boulettes de Poisson à la Sauce Tomate (Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce) Slightly adapted from The Book of Jewish Food, by Claudia Roden

  • Step 1

    Heat the oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.

  • Step 2

    Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and salt; add 2 cups of water, raise heat and bring mixture to a boil.

  • Step 5

    Lower heat to medium-low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

To make the fish balls

  • Step 1

    Meanwhile, pulse the fish in a food processor until pureed but still chunky.

  • Step 2

    Transfer the fish to a large bowl and add the matzoh meal, egg, ginger, nutmeg, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.

  • Step 3

    Portion out rounded tablespoons of the fish mixture, roll them into 1-inch balls, and drop them into the sauce.

  • Step 4

    Simmer fish balls, uncovered, flipping them once halfway through the cooking time, until slightly puffed and cooked through, 20-25 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Serve topped with a little tomato sauce, more chopped parsley, and lemon wedges.

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