The Best Gefilte Fish Recipe in The World – Gefilta by Sarah

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82 year old South African Sarah Hesselman makes the best gefilte fish in the world. Problem is, the world doesn't know how she does it. Things have changed, and now you can watch Sarah in action. Just don't expect a recipe. She's been making her gefilte fish the same way for more than 50 years and has never written anything down.

Enjoy this unique romp into the world of Jewish cooking and Sarah's comments about life with the late Louis and Cilla Chait who were her surrogate family and employers from the time she came to Cape Town in her late teens. When Louis and Cilla died Sarah took up residence and employment with their son Noah Chait and his family. This film was shot spontaneously on a MacBook laptop camera by Noah's daughter Lisa. To contact Sarah or Lisa email

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20 thoughts on “The Best Gefilte Fish Recipe in The World – Gefilta by Sarah

  1. hi Irma
    we enjoyed your video
    Happy New year to you all from Mike, Alyson Kessel and David Collie in Hermanus

  2. What a great video, also brought back many memories. Nostalgic for Cape Town and the family life.

  3. Any one read about this recipe book called Chef 790 Secrets? My roommate dropped like 11 extra pounds in a month soon after learning the cook book! Just google the website I can’t recall the web address.

  4. Did Sarah Hesselman have a hard life in her youth? She seems really reluctant to talk about when she came to Cape Town. Where was she from?

  5. My guess is she is South African (not Jewish), and not from a “german speaking country” per se. But they speak Afrikkans in SA (which is a mixture of German and Dutch) . So it is a Germanic language.

    Yiddish is also a Germanic language which is why she said she could understand it when the family she worked for, spoke it. I think many of the Jews in South Africa originated in Lithuania.

  6. Good video. First time I’v heard of them boiled.
    Will try.
    New to Gifilte fish but anxious to make them, after a Jewish lady made them for me decades ago.
    I loved Sarah.
    She is a hoot.
    Appreciation from Canada.

  7. Absolutely fantastic..I want some right now…I love Gefilte fish.. actually I love all Jewish foods…

  8. I was going to ask for you to buy Grandma a vegetable guard for protection while grating the veggies..But I Imagine she is such a pro will never scrape herself..She is a cutie and I adore her accent..I hope she is alive and well..She is a treasure of information..

  9. Thank you for the video, who is the woman making the fish, and what language is she speaking?

  10. Thanks a lot for sharing this video. granny Sarah, reminded my grandma in her kitchen.. :’). My mother learn this recipe few years ago and she’s happy to see that she got the right one… & again thanks a lot for share. ((Kudos from Mexico))

  11. Is she black? was the jews maid and learned the recipe? she doesn’t look white or Jewish to me.

  12. What a wonderful woman she certainly knows how to make gefita . And for those ignorant people here who asked if this lady is jewish or she does not “lOOK” jewish what fools indeed sounds ridiculous, in order to cook one does not have to be Jewish or Italian etc, she’s simply marvelous .

  13. If my grandma were still alive today,
    I’d love to visit her in Brooklyn right now.
    And make all the very delicious kosher foods in the world.
    I wouldn’t be surprised that she became my legal guardian and take care of me at Murphy house.
    My name is Theodore Iassic Cohen I’m also a Jewish Kohen.
    And I bless all the Jewish people inShoul.
    On a yom tov morning.
    I had a wonderful barmitzvah back in2001.
    On Labor Day at moncesy Jewish center.
    I had a wonderful time.
    I am hoping to become r kosher Jewish man someday.
    So that I can put Shabbos back on my plate.
    Good Shabbos
    To you from Theodore Cohen

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