Classic Fish Gelée

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    4 quarts

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About


very fresh lean fish or fish trimmings (no skin) 3 lb 1.5 kg
onion, 1 medium, chopped 8 oz 250 g
fresh fish stock, cold 5 qt 5 L
medium bouquet garni 1 1
lean white fish, finely chopped (optional) 8 oz 250 g
egg whites (optional) 2 2


  1. Make sure the gills, skin, and all traces of blood have been removed from the fish. Combine the fish with the onion in a 10-quart (10 liter) stockpot. Cover with the cold fish stock. Add the bouquet garni.
  2. Slowly bring the mixture to a very slow simmer. Skim off any froth that floats to the surface.
  3. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine chinois.
  4. The stock can now either be strained through a napkin or cheesecloth, allowed to settle, and the top half carefully drawn off with a ladle, or it can be clarified with the fish and egg whites.
  5. To clarify the stock, allow the strained stock to cool slightly; it can be tepid but should not be boiling hot.
  6. Combine the chopped fish and egg whites in an 8- to 10-quart (8 to 10 liter) stockpot, and cover with the strained fish stock. Bring the mixture slowly to a simmer. When it has reached a simmer, gently scrape against the bottom of the pot with a long spoon to make sure the fish–egg white mixture has not formed a clump and stuck to the bottom, where it might burn. Allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. When the stock is clear, carefully ladle it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. (Be sure to rinse the cheesecloth in cold water first to eliminate any chemical taste.)