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Entrees: Stuffed Pike and a Story

By Lena Yelkova

Related to: Poltava (Province)Recipes

The Cooks: Yunia and Regina Sovietov

Lena passed on this story with the stuffed pike - " It is probably everybody's favorite and definitely very popular here in Ukraine among Jewish families. As you can imagine every family has their own way of preparing it. If it wasn't for that sour apple who knows if my mom would have ever become a doctor.

In the times when my mom was growing up, of course, in the Soviet Union, no one would dare to say that you were Jewish. As my mom was taking her entrance exam to a medical school, the professor who was questioning her all of a sudden asked how my mom's mom prepares stuffed pike. Well, to the professor's surprise my mom told her the whole procedure to which the professor just nodded her head and then asked my mom if her mom puts the apple into the fish. "What kind of apple?" she asked and my mom replied:" sour apple". Good, the professor said, you may go and gave her the highest mark.

No, please don't think this is how my mom got through University, but this was an instance which my mom remembers till this day."

Stuffed Pike

Get a nice fresh pike. Make a cut over the head of a pike and slowly start to peel off the skin with the help of a knife, so the skin comes clean without pieces of meat. Pull the skin up to the tail and leave it there. Then, cut off the spine near the tail. Scrape the meat off the bones and take the spine out.

Then take the meat that you scraped off and put it in blender with medium size onion, 2-3 pieces of nice white bread, 2-3 eggs, salt, pepper, butter and a little bit of fresh, grated carrots (half a carrot).

Remember, you still have that skin that is somehow hanging on the bone of a tale. The mixture that you just created you stuff back into the skin that is left, not too tight, so it wouldn't burst. Then you sew the skin together, so the mixture wouldn't fall out Then, there are two ways of preparing it. You either boil the fish or bake it.

First, you basically prepare the fish bouillon. You put the spine and the fins and 1 chopped carrot as well as a whole onion and ground pepper into 2 cups of water, so it would cover the fish. In the bouillon you put the fish; the pot has to be big enough to fit the fish. You keep the fish on fire on a very low heat for about 30-40 min. 2 minutes before taking the fish out put the bay leaf in the water. Make sure that bouillon doesn't evaporate.

For baking. Put the whole fish on a tray to bake at about 200 degrees C. Periodically pour bouillon and sunflower oil over it.

Serve by cutting with a sharp knife into pieces.

  • Last Modified: 06-08-2012
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