Carp in Aspic

Carp is one of the most important dishes on Christmas Eve. Poles put carp scales into their wallets, hoping that they will bring them luck with money. It is one of the symbols of Christmas and it is served fried or cold in aspic.



  1. Gut the carp, scrape off scales, cut off head, remove entrails and fins but leave tail intact. Rinse fish well inside and out, pat dry, cut crosswise into roughly 4 cm steaks and salt lightly.
  2. Into wide pan place the peeled and washed carrot, parsley root and celeriac as well as the peeled onion, bay leaves, allspice and pinch of salt and pepper. Add 2 litres water, bring to the boil and let simmer at a gentle rolling boil for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the carp steaks and cook on low heat about 20 minutes or until fish is fully cooked. Carefully removed fish with slotted spoon and when cool enough to handle remove fish bones. Strain stock though fine sieve (preferably lined with gauze) and cook down to 1 litre. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. In cup soak gelatin in 3 tablespoons cold, pre-boiled water. After gelatin dissolves, add to warm stock and stir. Add lemon juice (about 2 teaspoons or to taste) and cool.
  5. Pour about 1/3 of the stock into serving platter and refrigerate. After it sets, arrange the carp steaks on it in the shape of a fish. Add another portion of stock (about 1/3) and refrigerate until set. Decorate with green peas, raisins, sliced carrot rounds and parsley sprigs. Carefully add the remaining stock and refrigerate until fully set.




You will find an original recipe in Polish HERE.