Magazine Poland

Polish Christmas Recipes: Ryba po Grecku, the Polish “Greek-style” fish

December has arrived, and that means only one thing: Christmas time is here! Now if you’re a bit like us, you won’t care much for silly presents you don’t even need, for Christmas’ main attraction is food, and there’s no present like a gloriously filled Christmas table.

With this in mind, Kafkadesk’s very own Chef Paulina Kotkowska has prepared a series of Polish Christmas recipes to countdown to C-Day! What’s on the menu today? Her Ryba po Grecku, the Polish “Greek-style” fish.

Ryba po grecku is a traditional Christmas dish in Poland, that has pretty much nothing to do with Greece, except its name! Indeed, it’s unknown where the name of the dish comes from because there is not a such equivalent in Greek cuisine… the ingredients used in the recipe are not even related to Greek food! The only sure thing is that Greeks eat a lot of fish and it’s often served with stewed vegetables. So maybe the name comes from there… or not.

Ryba po grecku combines a lightly fried white fish with the flavours of sweet root vegetables and spices. It’s a simple combination of affordable ingredients which creates a dish much greater than the sum of its parts! It is usually served cold on family Christmas Eve dinner tables, along with eleven other vegetarian dishes (vegetables or fish)!


Yields: around 5 servings

Preparation time: 30 minutes


  • 500g white fish fillets (coley, haddock, cod or any firm white fish)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 4 big carrots
  • 2 big onions
  • 1 parsley root (or parsnip)
  • ½ medium celery root
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 6 peppercorn
  • 6 allspices
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  • Pat dry the fish fillets with paper towel and cut it into small pieces.
  • Put flour in a dish and heat oil in a pan.
  • Sprinkle the fish pieces with salt and pepper and bread them into flour.
  • Throw the fish into the warm pan and cook in one part until it’s lightly brown. Turn over and cook a few more minutes. Remove and place in a plate with paper towel.
  • Peel carrots, parsley and celery roots and grate them. Chop onions.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan, add peppercorns, allspice, bayleaves followed by the chopped onions and sauté, stirring often, until softened.
  • Add the grated vegetables and sauté 2-3 minutes.
  • Dilute tomato paste in one glass of water and add into the pan.
  • Add paprika, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat, cover and let simmer around 10-15 minutes. Don’t overcook; leave a bit of crunch in the veggies.
  • Once the veggies are cooked, cool and place about 1/3 of the veggie mixture in a serving dish, add the fish pieces and cover with the rest of the mixture. Cover and put in the fridge until serving.

Kafkadesk notes

It’s better if you prepare this dish one day before to let it rest in the fridge and allow the flavours to mix. You can also use frozen fish to do this recipe. Just dry it well with paper towel after defrosting.

You can keep it around one week after in the fridge. It can also be freezed.

During Christmas, Ryba po grecku is served cold as a starter. But you can also serve it warm with a simple side dish of boiled potatoes…


Don’t forget to also check out Chef Kotkowska’s other Christmas recipes: like her Barszcz Czerwony, her gingerbread Pierniczki świąteczne and of course, her delicious deserts, Makowiec and Sernik.

8 comments on “Polish Christmas Recipes: Ryba po Grecku, the Polish “Greek-style” fish

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  4. Basically i can agree with this recipe 😉 Why basically ? Cause it’s a kind of dish that is prepared i « n » variations – depending on region of Poland, depending on what you’ve learned from your mom or grandma …. Recipe described – you can call it « common », every time there is a fish, a carrot, spices as described – but for example my mom is adding some fresh thin sliced garlic when frying fish …. And it’s true like mentioned in article – it tastes better day after. With what i can’t agree ( my and wife’s regions of country ): after you take it from the fridge next day – you eat this with fresh bread, not potatoes, its like cold meat salad. P.S. For All of U from UK – by fresch bread i mean: Polish bakery – in London you have them plenty 😉 I think rest of the western world knows what real bread means. Again for those in UK + USA – 50-70-90 cent or even 1.20L for a bread won’t do this 😉 MMMMMMrrrrrr « Ryba po grecku » + slices of fresh bread with real butter !!!! yeah !!!!!

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