Polish “Greek Style” Fish {Ryba po Grecku}

Ryba po grecku [ryh-bah poh greh-tskoo] is a traditional Polish Christmas dish, and not, as one may think, a Greek dish. It is unknown where the name of this dish came from, but it is assumed that it relates to the cooking method. Greeks, due to the geographical location, eat a lot of fish and seafood, a lot of times prepared and served with stewed vegetables in season. Perhaps Poles, by using a similar cooking method decided to call it “greek style” fish at some point, but that’s the only resemblance to greek food as it’s going to get.

Ryba po grecku is a dish that was always present on my families’ Christmas Eve dinner table. This, along with eleven other vegetarian dishes will be tasted one by one and again and again. Since there are so many dishes prepared for this special holiday, only a small portion of each is served at a time. We will however repeat the process (eating, not cooking) on Christmas Day (in Poland called 1st day of Christmas), and if there is any more left, on 2nd day of Christmas (26 December). Nobody is complaining about eating the same food over again, as some of this festive fare will not be cooked until next Christmas.

This delicious entrée combines the flavors of sweet root vegetables, aromatic spices and mild fish into a perfect medley of hearty and one-of-a-kind tasting dish. Shredded vegetables are lightly sautéed, but kept slightly undercooked for a bit of crunch and texture. Fish is soft and mild soaking up any extra aromatic juice left in the sauce. Dish is prepared a day ahead of time allowing flavors to combine. It will be served cold.

Polish Greek Style Fish {Ryba po Grecku}

  • Yields: 5-6 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 1 lb / 500 g of fish filets (any white, mild fish will do)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbs of four
  • 3-4 tbs of oil
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1/2 medium celery root or 3/4 of a small one
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1 tbs of oil + 1 tbs of butter
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable broth or water
  • 3 tbs of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns and allspice each (whole)
  • 2 tsp paprika

Instructions

  1. Wash fish filets and pat dry and cut into smaller pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Break an egg into one dish, add a tablespoon of water and scramble. Place flour in another dish. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Dredge each piece of fish in egg and flour and sauté on medium until cooked and lightly brown. Remove and place on a paper towel.

  2. Peel carrots, parsnip and celery root and shred on the largest vegetable shredder. Chop onion. Heat oil and butter in a wide pan/deep frying pan and add peppercorns, allspice and bayleaves, followed by shredded vegetables and onions. Heat through. Add broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and paprika. Sauté until cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Don't overcook, leave a bit of crunch in the veggies.

  3. Taste. Add a bit more salt, if needed.

  4. Once veggies are cooked, create layers in a serving dish by placing about 1/3 of the veggie mixture first, then arrange fish pieces and cover with the rest of the veggie mixture. Cover with foil and let cool. Refrigerate until serving.

Notes

Although this dish is serve cold during Christmas, it does well and tastes great served as a hot entrée.

Stay tuned for more Christmas dishes and I hope you cook some up this holiday season.

Smacznego!

Much love,

Anna

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