If you’re planning a Polish meal for Christmas Eve, Wigilia, you’ll want to have Polish Greek Style Fish on the menu. The flavor is amazing!
For many families, Christmas Eve is the only time ryba po grecku makes an appearance. It’s not that the preparation is too complicated for an everyday meal. It’s a desire to keep it special and save it for Christmas Eve only.
I’d say it’s akin to not keeping Christmas decorations up all year. As much as we love them, they lose their importance if they’re up too long.
I’ve heard some people say they eat Polish Greek Style Fish hot or cold. Some will say that it’s only eaten cold. Having tried it both ways, my favorite is in between! I think the flavors are best at room temp.
If you google Greek fish with carrots and onions, you’ll get a page full of recipes for these Polish Greek-style fish dishes rather than Greek recipes. It may be more of a Polish take on a Greek dish than an actual Greek recipe.
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In addition to the flavor, another selling point of the dish is that since it doesn’t have to be served piping hot, it can be prepared in advance. I might even say that it’s better when prepared the day before. If you are preparing a dozen dishes for Wigilia, advance prep is a big selling factor!
The flavors meld beautifully. The sweetness of the carrots is offset by the warmth of the onion and leek with just a hint of tomato sauce. It’s all a perfect compliment for your favorite white fish.
We have a couple of pescatarians in the family, so I think this could still be a special dish if I made it now and then for brunch or supper. I know you’ll love it as much as I do!
Make this recipe in advance for a delicious fish dish!
- 1 pound of carrots, about 5 medium
- 1 parsnip
- 2 celery ribs
- 3 cups water, salted or stock
- 6 whole allspice berries
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 pounds of white fish, cod, hake, pollock, tilapia, walleye, perch, etc. fresh or frozen, thawed
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 tablespoons oil for frying, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 small leek, the white parts only, sliced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- flat-leaf parsley for garnish
- Peel the carrot and parsnip, remove strings from the celery and shred these vegetables on the coarse side of a grater. Add the shredded veg to a saucepan with salted water or stock. For stock, I would use vegetable stock or fish stock. I had a bottle of clam juice and some shrimp flavored bouillon cubes, so that’s what I used this time. Add the bay leaf and allspice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 – 20 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the fish. Pat it dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, dredge in flour. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the fish, cook until it is golden and cooked through. The internal temp should be 145° F (63° C). Remove from the pan and drain the fish on paper towels.
- Add the remaining oil to the frying pan with the onion and leek, Saute over medium-high heat until translucent.
- Remove a half cup of the liquid from the shredded vegetables. Stir the tomato paste into this veggie water and return the diluted tomato paste to the saucepan with the shredded vegetables. Add the pepper, paprika, basil, oregano, and sauteed onion and leek. Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste to check the seasonings. Add salt if needed.
- Add the fish to a casserole dish and top with the vegetable mixture. Serve warm, chilled, or even at room temp. This is always excellent a day or two after it’s prepared.
Keywords: Polish Greek Style Fish, ryba po grecko