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New Year’s Carp


Although this fish is traditionally served on New Year’s Eve, it may also be served on Christmas Eve. This fresh-water fish is stuffed with a bread-crumb and fish mixture and seasoned with thyme, parsley and onion.

In many cities the carp in the town lake are gathered and sold live during the Christmas and New Year’s season. Some carp can be quite large, 3-4 ft in length. They may be kept in the family bathtub (video link) until it is time to cook them.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 2 – 4 1/2 lb carp, cleaned
  • 1/2 lb fish filet, white-fleshed fish such as tilapia
  • liver or roe from carp (optional)
  • 2 white, hard dinner rolls, about 1 oz each, soaked in water
  • 8 T salted butter
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2-3 T fresh parsley, chopped, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine, about 1/2 cup
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Remove the bones from the white fish filet, or have the fishmonger remove them. Put filet, liver or roe (optional), herbs, squeezed out dinner rolls, onion, salt and pepper to taste into food processor and process in 5 second intervals, stopping when the mixture is homogeneous but not quite smooth.

Place filling in carp cavity and sew shut using kitchen thread and a needle. Melt 2 T butter and brush all over carp. Place carp in a hot frying pan with the rest of the butter and brown. Turn over after 15 minutes and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes longer, until the skin is shiny and brown and the eyes are white and stiff.

Serve with buttered, parsley potatoes and green salad.

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