Gefilte fish: Better in a sandwich


When I was creating the menu for Fletchers, the Jewish cafe I manage in Montreal, I knew that I needed to include gefilte fish, but there couldn’t be any limp romaine or parsley in sight. I took the elements of a traditional plate of gefilte fish and made it into a sandwich because everything is just better between slices of bread.

Whether you’re already a gefilte fish fan or still need convincing, we promise that this will make you love it.

Fletcher’s Homemade Gefilte Fish

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

340 grams boneless, skinless halibut fillets or similar white fish, cut into chunks

340 grams boneless, skinless tilapia, cut into chunks

2 large eggs

3/4 cup cold water or veggie stock, plus boiling water for pan

3 Tbsp. matzah meal

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

1-1/2 tsp. Diamond kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill


1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Coat a 5x9-inch loaf pan with olive oil. Heat remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

2. Pulse the turbot and tilapia in a food processor until finely chopped, not smooth.

3. Beat eggs with a whisk for about 1 minute. Mix in the onion, fish mixture, cold water or stock, matzah meal, sugar, lemon juice and zest, salt, and some pepper until well combined. Mix in dill.

4. Transfer mixture to pan. Smooth top using a spatula. Cover with parchment-lined foil, and transfer to a large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into a glass casserole to come halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake until terrine is firm in the center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water. Let cool for 10 minutes. Wipe the fish fat off the top of the gefilte fish and drain the fish juice out of the pan.

5. Let cool completely and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Yields 1 loaf.

Gefilte Fish Club Sandwich

2-inch-thick slices of your favorite gefilte fish; this recipe works best with a square loaf

3 slices of challah

sliced tomato

romaine lettuce, or mixed greens


1 to 2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish mayo (recipe below)

1 Tbsp. prepared pickled red onion (recipe below)

Pickled red onions:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

1 Tbsp. sugar

1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt (Diamond brand)

1 red onion, thinly sliced

Whisk first 3 ingredients and water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.

Horseradish mayo:

2 cups mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. white horseradish

Zest of half a lemon

Combine mayo, horseradish and lemon zest. Set aside. Can be prepared several days ahead.


1. Set broiler to high and place the gefilte fish slices on a sheet pan. Heat the gefilte fish slices until they are golden brown and warmed through, about 2 minutes.

2. Toast slices of challah while the fish is in the oven. Spread the bottom piece of challah with horseradish mayo, place one piece of gefilte fish on it (smash the fish a little so it spreads across the bread) and place tomatoes on top. Top with next piece of challah, spread that piece of toast with a little mayo, place the rest of the gefilte fish on it, top with pickled onions and lettuce. Place last piece of challah on top of the sandwich.

3. Cut the sandwich diagonally, place a pickle slice on each half of the sandwich, and put toothpicks into the center of the pickle slices.