Whitefish salad

May 28, 2008

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Serves 8
This traditional deli salad is made from Great Lakes whitefish that are brined and smoked, which gives them a rich, salty-smoky flavor. The fish is available at the Butcherie in Brookline, a kosher grocery store, and some specialty food markets. Co-owner Joshua Ruboy says to choose a whole fish that's thick and meaty, and use your fingers to find and remove all the small bones.

1 whole smoked whitefish (1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Black pepper, to taste
Few sprigs of fresh parsley or dill (optional)

1. Set the fish on a sheet of wax paper. Using your fingers, lift the skin from the top side of the fish, then carefully remove chunks of meat from the bones. Discard the bones and any dark bits of flesh from the whitefish.

2. In a bowl, flake the fish into small pieces, checking again for bones. You should have about 2 1/2 cups.

3. Gently stir in the onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and pepper. Leave the salad slightly chunky. Transfer to a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap, and chill thoroughly before serving. Garnish with the parsley or dill, if you like. Lisa Zwirn