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I want to make homemade Gefilte Fish, but I do not know what whitefish is!

What type(s) of fish are whitefish? The recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds of whitefish and 1/2 pound of cod or halibut. I have cooked every type of food and every type of fish, but darn if I don't know what whitefish is! Can you help me?

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  1. whitefish can be any of several whitefleshed fishes. I am familiar with gefilte fish made from whitefish, pike and carp. But you can make it out of any relatively mild fish. I added salmon one year because it was what was available.

    1 Reply
    1. re: magiesmom

      I have wondered about the same thing. Do you think it would taste good just made of tilapia or some other white fish? I figured there was a reason why whitefish and carp are always listed in recipes. I am in Mexico where the fish is different (but still white! :) and since I never tasted those east coast fish on their own, I don't know what they taste like or why they are used.

    2. whitefish actually comprises a particular genus in the salmon family, and there are numerous species of it...but a lot of them are endangered or extinct. ask your fishmonger what they have on hand. IMHO traditional gelfilte fish should have at least some pike or carp, so i'd use one or both of those. you can honestly add any white fish you like - mullet, turbot, perch, red snapper...

      2 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Pike and carp are incredibly expensive for those of us who live on the West Coast. You can substitute any white fish but may have to add a bit of oil to compensate.

        1. re: ola

          Pike and carp are incredibly expensive for those of us who live on the West Coast.
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~
          OP is in NYC.

      2. It means different things to different people. To Jews in the Northeast, it refers to a freshwater fish in the salmon family from the Great Lakes.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sushigirlie

          I can't get pike or carp! I can get Pollock and red(regular) salmon. I can also get Cod and Flounder, which look white. I can also get catfish, farm raised. I can get talapia and skate, but those don't seem fatty enough, although I like them alone as a fish dinner! What do you think about the fish I mentioned? Again, I appreciate the responses. You are all very helpful.

          1. re: hungryinmanhattan

            cod and flounder are both fine - i didn't suggest cod since you already mentioned it in your OP. arctic char or trout would be other options, and honestly, there are plenty of people these days who depart from tradition and use salmon...

        2. The confusion here is due to the poor grammar of many recipe websites & even cookbooks. There's a BIG difference due to just one tiny little space. "Whitefish" pertains to a SPECIFIC family of small white-fleshed fishes; "White Fish" is any white-fleshed fish (cod, flounder, etc., etc.).

          Gefilte Fish recipes are usually talking about the specific "Whitefish". If they want Pike or Carp, they'll specify Pike or Carp. This time of year, many fish markets & fish counters sell Whitefish fresh, & around here they're available year-round frozen - both whole & in filets. Check out your local supermarkets - chances are good you can find the real McCoy - fresh or frozen - particularly now.