Entrees: Stuffed Pike and a Story
By Lena Yelkova
Related to: Poltava (Province)
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
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."
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
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.