Fish Balls and Cakes

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Quenelles are essentially refined fish balls, a genre of which there are many regional variations. Chinese fish balls are bound with egg and cornstarch, lightened with water; Norwegian fish balls are enriched with butter and cream, bound with potato flour; Jewish gefilte fish (thought to derive via eastern Europe from French quenelles), bound with eggs and matzoh meal, and aerated by chopping. Less delicate and tricky fish mixtures include coarse cakes and croquettes bound with eggs and starchy particles like bread crumbs, and mousses made from cooked fish and held together with starchy sauces or gelatin.