Gefilte fish (; from Yiddish: געפֿילטע פֿיש, lit. "stuffed fish") is a dish made from a poached mixture of ground deboned fish, such as carp, whitefish, or pike. It is traditionally served as an appetizer by Ashkenazi Jewish households. Popular on Shabbat and Jewish holidays such as Passover, it may be consumed throughout the year. It is typically garnished with a carrot on top.
Historically, gefilte fish was a stuffed whole fish consisting of minced-fish forcemeat stuffed inside the intact fish skin. By the 16th century, cooks had started omitting the labor-intensive stuffing step, and the seasoned fish was most commonly formed into patties similar to quenelles or fish balls.
In an article "Gefilte Fish in America", Tamara Mann Tweel writes: "Born in Europe out of religious obligation, poverty, and ingenuity, gefilte fish survived in America due to bottling technology, innovative advertising, and an American Jewish desire to experience faith through the large intestine."
In Poland gefilte fish is referred to as karp po żydowsku ("carp Jewish-style").