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World Famous Matzo Balls recipe

World Famous Matzo Balls recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup

After making many, many batches of matzo balls for my friends, I perfected the recipe and am sharing it here. They're always a welcome treat.

24 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 large eggs
  • 100g (4 oz) matzo meal
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) soda water
  • 2L (3 1/4 pints) chicken stock

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl until thick and light in colour. Combine the the eggs with the matzo meal, vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon chicken stock, vodka, salt, pepper, basil and soda water in a large bowl, and stir until well blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Pour the remaining chicken stock into a large pot and bring to the boil over medium high heat.
  3. Meanwhile, form walnut-sized balls using the chilled matzo mixture. Place the balls in the chicken stock, reduce heat to medium and simmer until matzo balls are cooked through, 45 to 60 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(21)

Reviews in English (17)

by Jenn_V

I signed up just to rate this recipe. It serves closer to 10 than 4, so be prepared. We had leftovers here for days (but it reheats well). I made these balls to practice for the upcoming Holiday, and they came out great! Use salted water on your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them, and drop the balls into the broth with a slotted spoon. I also used the freezer to get the dough ready faster. It took about an hour. I added some veggies to the soup. My Jewish mother-in-law even said they were some of the best she's ever had. I'm not sure if this recipe is kosher or not, but it's great either way.-05 Sep 2007

by cklee

This recipe makes up the absolute best matzo balls I have ever had. They were fluffy, not heavy and very flavorful. This made about sixteen 1-2" matzo balls. This will be my go-to recipe, especially when I don't have schmaltz on hand for my grandmother's recipe.-09 May 2010

by srigarlic

the best balls I have tasted my whole life... ate every night for three days in a row while sick... I believe they were instrumental in my recovery-31 Jul 2007

Matzo Balls

( 2 Votes)

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Float these light-as-air Jewish-style dumplings in your next pot of chicken soup and learn the meaning of true comfort! We have the only matzo ball recipe you'll ever need!

What You'll Need

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 / 2 cup water
  • 1 / 3 cup vegetable shortening, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup matzo meal (see Notes)

What to Do

  1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, water, shortening, and salt mix well. Add matzo meal and stir until combined do not overmix. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
  2. Using slightly wet hands, form mixture into 12 golf ball-sized balls.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a soup pot of salted water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Carefully place matzo balls in boiling water cover and cook 20 minutes, or until they float to the top and are completely cooked inside.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove matzo balls to a shallow baking dish let cool slightly then cover and chill until ready to reheat in a pot of chicken soup. Or, to serve immediately, remove matzo balls from cooking pot and add to a pot of hot chicken soup.


Matzo meal can be found in the ethnic foods section of the supermarket. If matzo meal is not available, you can substitute cracker meal.

You can't have matzo balls without chicken soup, so click here for one of our favorites!

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Ratings & Comments

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Mom used to make them the size of a small cannon ball, then let them simmer in the soup for a couple of hours. She then wondered why they came out just like cannon balls and just about as edible. :-D

If you want light, fluffy matzoh balls, roll them about the size of a marble. They will expand while cooking. For more flavor, cook the matzoh balls in chicken soup instead of water. Mmmmm!

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2. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients. Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes.

3. In a medium pot, bring chicken broth to a boil.

4. With wet hands, form matzo mixture into golf-ball sized balls.

5. Gently place matzo balls into boiling chicken broth.

6. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and poach matzo balls for 20 minutes. Do not uncover the pot while cooking. The poaching liquid should maintain a temperature of 160°F and 180°F.

7. Remove matzo balls from poaching liquid and serve in warm chicken broth garnished with brunoise carrots.

Matzo Ball Soup

In our delicious Matzo Ball Soup, light and fluffy Matzo balls float in a rich and savory chicken broth loaded with carrots, celery and chunks of chicken!

In our delicious Matzo Ball Soup, light and fluffy Matzo balls float in a rich and savory chicken broth loaded with carrots, celery, and chunks of chicken!

Matzo ball soup is a classic recipe, the kind of dish your grandma used to make you.

I often worry that some recipes will just never taste the same as when Grandma makes them. For a long time, I didn’t even bother making matzo ball soup. I figured I would never be able to make it as good as my grandma.

This easy matzo ball soup recipe tastes just like my childhood vacations to Grandma’s house. It’s warm, it’s savory, and I make it every chance I get. That means delicious soup is simmering whenever I get the sniffles, I need a soup dish for a potluck, or the weather gets chilly (which, let’s face it, nowadays that could still be the middle of May).

Pin it to your Chicken or Soup BOARD to save for later!

Be Sure To Follow Gonna Want Seconds on Pinterest for more great recipes!

The thing about matzo ball soup—some people spell it “matzoh ball soup,” but I prefer the more common way—is that every chef has his or her own recipe. Some recipes call for a whole chicken some use just breast or thigh pieces. Some chefs say that dense, sinking matzo balls are the best kind others are convinced that light and fluffy floating matzo balls are supreme.

I’ve tried many (read, “an embarrassing number of”) matzo ball soup recipes. Where did I find the best matzo ball soup? Pasadena. In a dear friend’s kitchen. This recipe is my favorite by far. It gets the balance of vegetables just right, and I’ve always preferred light and fluffy matzo balls. However, in the recipe notes below, you’ll find some recommendations for variations on the recipe. If you’re a “sinker” person, there’s some advice on that and if you prefer vegetarian matzo ball soup, there’s also advice on that.

This easy matzo ball soup recipe is a great one to make over a couple of days. The stock base can be made up to three days ahead of time, and the matzo ball recipe can be made one day ahead of time. If I’m starting to feel a craving for it, my strategy is to throw together the different pieces as I have time. Maybe one day I’ll make up the stock, another day I’ll make the matzo balls, and still another day I’ll actually put it all together.

The other thing I love about matzo ball soup is that it’s pretty healthy. The broth base (as long as it’s homemade) has a lot of good minerals and combined with the matzo balls and carrots, it makes a pretty filling meal. Plus, with matzo ball soup, calories aren’t a thing to be too concerned about!

It seemed appropriate to pay homage to this recipe’s heritage by posting it now, with Passover approaching. Here’s hoping a good bowl of this soup will bring you some shalom.

Recipe Notes:

Chicken Stock

  • You’re going to need a big stock pock for this recipe, at least 12 quarts.
  • Most recipes for this dish that I’ve seen call for chicken. Chicken matzo ball soup tends to be heartier and to go further than the chicken-less alternative. But, if you need to cook vegetarian, you can simply omit the chicken from the recipe. Find a stock base you enjoy without meat, and use that instead.
  • You’ll notice that this chicken stock recipe calls for a whole chicken. I’d recommend finding a regular, bone-in whole chicken from your local deli or butcher to use—it will give you the best flavor. Nearly everything in the chicken can go into the stock: bones, meat, and all. But, if you get a chicken with the skin still on, do remember to remove it before adding to the soup!
  • While letting the stock simmer, the recipe calls for you to skim off the fat and foam at the top. Be sure to save some of that fat to use in the matzo balls!
  • When straining the stock, use a very fine-mesh sieve. This will help to ensure your finished stock is clear instead of cloudy.
  • If you’re not going to use the stock right away, just strain it into an airtight container and refrigerate.
  • There’s no question that homemade stock is better. (In fact, check out this recipe for bone broth—it makes the best stock.) But a shortcut to this recipe would be using store-bought chicken stock instead of making it yourself. Only do that in a pinch, however, as the store-bought stuff tends to be less healthy and far less delicious. Make sure you buy an unsalted chicken stock if you choose to go this route.

Matzo Balls

  • As the name of the dish suggests, the heart of this recipe is the matzo balls. There is some really serious disagreement about what texture makes for the best soup. I prefer light and fluffy matzo balls, so that’s what this recipe creates. But I understand that lots of people prefer dense matzo balls that sink. Here are some general tips for creating both:
  • Very Light Floaters: The key to making very light matzo balls is baking powder. You can use anywhere from 1/8 teaspoon to 1 full teaspoon per cup of matzo meal, depending on how light you actually want the balls to be. Using both baking powder and seltzer will really lighten your matzo balls. ( Tip: for even lighter matzo balls, fold in egg whites along with the baking powder and seltzer.)
  • Medium Floaters: This is more my style. To make light matzo balls that still have a little body to them, just use the seltzer. If you want, you can add a tiny bit (no more than 1/8 teaspoon) of baking powder.
  • Dense Sinkers: If you want meatier, substantial matzo balls, then “sinkers” are your preference. To make matzo balls that sink, don’t use any baking powder at all. Use water to make them really dense!
  • No matter what texture of matzo balls you decide to go with, be careful how much matzo meal you add. A dense matzo ball will taste more of the matzo meal a lighter matzo ball will taste more of the broth. But in either case, too much matzo meal can be disastrous.
  • Once you’ve made the matzo mixture, you’ll want to chill it for at least 2 hours before rolling it into balls. This will ensure the best possible mix to create the best possible balls. Then, once you’ve rolled the matzo balls, chill those for at least 8 hours.
  • The recipe asks you to cook the matzo balls covered for at least 30 minutes. The key here is not to peek! Don’t pull off the lid to see how they’re doing until those 30 minutes are up. Otherwise, you make interrupt the cooking process at the critical moment!
  • Schmaltz is chicken fat, plain and simple. Like the texture of the matzo balls, the inclusion or absence of schmaltz from this recipe is a huge controversy. Purists suggest that using oil or even butter as a substitute robs the soup of its flavor. Realists point out that it’s just more convenient to use something besides schmaltz.
  • Generally, I suggest using the chicken fat. The purists are right that it produces the most flavor in the soup. However, the problem with schmaltz is that it takes time to prepare. While it’s certainly not as hard to come by as some people claim it is (chicken fat is relatively easy to find), using schmaltz does add some cooking time to the overall dish. It tastes better, but it’s not as convenient.

The most common opinion is that oil is the best substitute for animal fat in this dish. (Some recipes even suggest grapeseed oil!) Butter tends to produce the least flavorful matzo balls—and it conflicts with the kosher law which says you can’t serve meat and dairy together.

Making a Clear Soup

  • A clear soup starts with a clear broth. There’s advice on that above. But the other key to a clear soup is in the method of cooking the matzo balls. If you cook the matzo balls in the soup, they soak up all of that delicious flavor you want. But, that does tend you make the soup cloudy.
  • If you want a clearer soup, trying straining out the cooked matzo and carrots. Then heat them both in the remaining chicken stock. This is the sieve I use to strain my broth.
  • A lot of matzo recipes call for adding dill to the finished soup. Though additional flavoring isn’t very traditional, I think the dill is a really good flavor to balance out the savory soup. And if you really want to flaunt tradition, try adding parsley to your taste.

More Savory Soups!

Tomato and Basil Soup – perfect for summer or winter, infused with a depth of flavors!
Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup – This soup is loaded with flavor and nutrition benefits!
Chicken Tortellini Soup -One dish dinner loaded with juicy chunks of chicken, tender tortellini, veggies and a bit of sausage.
Easy Potato Soup – Comfort food, warm, quick, and easy to make!
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup – Lusciously creamy and loaded with chunks of chicken, great veggies, and wonderful wild rice mix!

Passover Foods Around the World

Fresh, intensely flavorful Passover recipes from different Jewish communities.

Different Jewish communities around the world prepare fresh, intensely flavorful recipes on Passover. Try some of these traditional dishes to spice up your own meals this Passover!

Charoset, the paste that symbolizes the mortar our ancient Jewish ancestors used in slavery in ancient Egypt, is present on Seder tables the world over. Yet did you know that Jewish communities around the world prepare very different versions?

Here is a delicious Turkish version:

  • 8 oz pitted dates
  • 8 oz raisins
  • 2 cups peeled grated apples
  • Orange juice or wine to moisten
  • ½ cup finely chopped nuts.

Grind (or chop in a processor or blender) all the fruits together. Moisten with juice or wine, and stir in nuts.

Makes about 1 ½ cupsRecipe from Sephardi Israeli Cuisine: A Mediterranean Mosaic by Sheilah Kaufman (Hippocrene Books 2002).

And here is an unusual Syrian version:

  • 3 lbs. pitted dates
  • ½ cup sweet red wine
  • 1 t ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Put the dates I a medium saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the dates are soft.

Pass the date mixture through a strainer or rotary grater. A food processor may also be used, mixing in 3-4 batches for 30 seconds at a time. Refrigerate.

Before serving, add the wine, cinnamon, and walnuts if desired, and mix thoroughly.

Recipe from Aromas of Aleppo by Poopa Dweck (HarperCollins 2007).

Persian Jews make Halegh for their Seder tables instead of Charoset. To symbolize the forty years in which the Jews wandered in the desert after leaving Egypt, many cooks use a variety of each type of fruit (using several different color apples for instance, or different varieties of pears or raisins) so the number of ingredients in their Hallaq equals forty.

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup roasted, shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup black raisins
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • ½ t ground nutmeg
  • 1 large apple, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 1 large pear, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 2 bananas, peeled
  • 2-3 T cider vinegar
  • ½ - 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 -1 cup sweet kosher wine

In a large food processor, combine nuts, raisins, dates and spices. Pulse until nuts are coarsely chopped.

Add apple, pear and bananas, and pulse until coarse chop. Add 2T vinegar, ½ cup pomegranate juice, and ½ cup wine. Pulse again, adding more vinegar, juice or wine to taste, as needed to make a coarse paste. Do not puree mixture should retain some crunch.

Here&rsquos an easy recipe for the classic Ashkenazi Passover accompaniment to soup. It&rsquos traditional to serve matzah balls in chicken soup, though they&rsquore delicious in vegetable soup too.

  • 2 quarts salted water
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup oil or schmaltz
  • Large dash each salt and pepper
  • 1 cup matzoh meal (approx.)

Bring salted water to a boil. While you are waiting for water to heat, mix matzoh ball dough.

Combine eggs, oil, salt and pepper. Then mix in matzoh meal, a little at a time, until the mixture is thickened but still sticky. Matzoh meal absorbs lots of water, so wait 10 minutes or so to see if you need more. Aim for your batter to feel like modeling clay.

Wet your hands and roll batter into balls for large balls, roll them into the size of a small egg. For smaller balls, aim for walnut-sized. Drop balls into the boiling water, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

(For a Polish version, add a couple drops of almond extract to matzoh ball dough. If you do this, you might also want to form each ball around a single skinless almond it is a fancy, nice touch.)

Makes approx. 12 small matzoh balls.

Recipe from Angels at the Table: A Practical Guide to Celebrating Shabbat by Yvette Alt Miller (Continuum 2011).

This unusual soup is a traditional Passover soup of the Jewish community of Turin, in Italy. &ldquoDayenu&rdquo means &ldquoit would have been enough&rdquo, and it forms the chorus of a beautiful song in the Hagaddah, thanking G-d for taking us out of slavery in Egypt.

  • 7 ½ cups well-flavored chicken stock
  • 3 matzos, cut in small pieces
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 t cinnamon

Bring the chicken stock to the boil, throw in the matzo pieces, and simmer ½ hour, until the matzo is very soft and bloated. In a soup tureen, beat the egg yolks with the cinnamon and 4-5 T of cold water, then gradually pour in the soup, stirring constantly.

Recipe from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden ( Alfred A. Knofp 1996).

Among Tunisian Jews, M&rsquosoki, is a Passover favorite. This is a heart, soupy stew that incorporates two Passover food themes: vegetables and lamb.

Passover is sometimes called the Spring Festival, and many communities eat colorful vegetables to stress this theme. Lamb recalls G-d&rsquos instructions to the Jewish slaves in Egypt to sacrifice and eat a meal of sheep the night before the Exodus from Egypt. This delicious stew also contains artichokes, a Spring vegetable that is closely identified with Passover in Sephardi Jewish cooking.

  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 1 lamb shoulder, boned (about 3 lbs.)
  • 1 lb. beef ribs
  • 2 lbs. beef shank
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 fresh fennel bulbs, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 white or yellow carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 lbs. fresh spinach, chopped
  • Green tops of 3 beets, chopped
  • 8 artichoke bottoms, fresh or canned, quartered
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 4 matzos

Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Season the lamb, and two beefs with salt and pepper to taste, and brown in batches on all sides. Remove from the pot. Then toss into the pot the fennel, carrots, onions, and sauté, scraping up any bits of meat that have stuck to the bottom. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook until slightly softened. Add the spinach and beet tops, and cook until wilted.

Return the browned meat to the pot, and barely cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over medium-high heat for 30 minutes.

Add the artichoke bottoms, cilantro, mint and nutmeg. Lower the heat so that the soup is barely simmering, and cook for 2 more hours, or until the meat is very tender, adding water if needed.

Cut the meat into 1-inch pieces, discarding any bones, and put it back into the soup. Just before serving, break up the matzos into six pieces each. Soak them in salted water until slightly moistened, then press out the water. Serve the soup garnished with the reserved cilantro and mint and the matzo pieces.

Recipe adapted from Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France by Joan Nathan (Alfred Knopf 2010).

Here is another traditional Passover recipe &ndash from the Jewish community of Turkey &ndash that also features artichokes: a Spring vegetable closely identified with Passover.

  • 8 fresh artichokes, or two 9-oz packages frozen artichokes
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (if using fresh artichokes, save the lemon shells)
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Slice off the woody stems of the fresh artichokes. Tug off the tough outer leaves. Turn each artichoke on its side and slice off about 1 inch from the top, exposing the pale interior. Nip off the spiny points of the remaining leaves. Quarter each artichoke and remove the hairy choke from the center. Add the quarters to the bowl of water in which you have placed the lemon shells.

In a large pot, bring a quart of water to a boil with the honey, lemon juice, and oil. Add the artichokes, lower the heat, and cook, covered, for 40-45 minutes for fresh artichokes, or until tender but not mushy. Frozen artichokes, which need not be defrosted, will cook in 6-8 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to a serving bowl. Combine with the shallots. Boil down the cooking liquid until it is syrupy and reduced in volume to about ½ cup. Pour this liquid over the artichokes. Let cool to room temperature and serve sprinkled with the parsley.

Recipe from The Passover Table by Susan R. Friedland (David Barich & Assoc. 1994).

Carciofi all Giudia (&ldquoJewish Style Artichokes&rdquo)

Italian Jewish cookbook author Edda Servi Machlin remembers that growing up, no matter what else was on the menu, Passover dinner always included artichokes, a Spring vegetable often served in Sephardi communities on Passover. Passover is often called &ldquoChag Ha-Aviv&rdquo, or the Spring Holiday, making artichokes the perfect way to celebrate.

This delicious artichoke dish, often served on Passover, is the most famous of all Italian Jewish foods.

  • 12 medium, fresh artichokes
  • 2 lemons, juice and rinds
  • 2 T salt
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • 3 cups olive oil

Trim the artichokes as described above and keep them in lemon water until you are ready to cook them.

Drain two artichokes, and, holding one in each hand by the stem and bottom, gently hit the leafy parts against each other until the leaves of one artichoke open up a little. Place the opened artichoke, bottom up, in a board or a working surface. Continue with remaining artichokes.

In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper. Take one artichoke at a time and sprinkle all over, including between the leaves, with the salt and pepper mixture.

Heat the oil in a deep earthenware or similar saucepan. Cook as many artichokes at a time as fit in one layer over moderate heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the bottoms and sides are well browned. During this cooking period, sprinkle some cold water over the artichokes to produce steam, so that the inside will be cooked too.

When all the artichokes are done, transfer them to a plate, bottom side down, to keep the moisture in. (Up to this point you may prepare the artichokes several hours ahead of time and keep them, bottom side down, so they don&rsquot lose their moisture. Should they become too dry, sprinkle some cold water on them when reheating and press the leaves down against the bottom of the pan.)

Pick them up at the bottom with a fork and dip them, one by one, in the hot oil again, pressing the leaves to the bottom of the pan. The artichokes will open up like roses and the leaves will become golden and crisp.

Recipe from Classic Italian Jewish Cooking by Edda Servi Machlin (Ecco 2005).

Sephardi Jewish communities enjoy layered pies on Passover, called &ldquominas&rdquo. The fillings of these vary widely here is a luscious version with chicken and mushrooms that can be served as a main course.

  • 12 oz cooked chicken (or 1 lb. raw)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 oz margarine
  • 1 ¼ cup button mushrooms
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 T chopped parsley or coriander
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 3 T oil
  • 6 sheets matzo

Preheat oven to 375 F. Have ready a baking dish approximately 10x8x2 inches &ndash a foil one is excellent.

The chicken can be leftovers or chicken-breast meat poached with a bay leaf or microwaved (covered with water and a bay leaf) until tender. Cut the chicken into strips about ½ x 1 ½ inches.

Sauté the finely chopped onion in the fat until soft and golden, then add the thinly sliced mushrooms and sauté until tender &ndash another 5 minutes. Allow to cool while you beat the eggs until blended, then stir in the mushroom and chicken mixture, ½ t of the salt and the pepper and chopped herbs.

Make up 1 ¼ cups of chicken stock or use leftover chicken soup or the poaching liquid.

Heat the oil in a small pan for 3 minutes, then pour 2 t into the baking dish and swirl it round to coat both the bottom and sides. Dip 2 of the matzot into the stock (or chicken poaching liquid) until well moistened, then lay side by side in the baking dish. Spoon half the egg mixture on top, cover with 2 more moistened matzot, then the remaining egg mixture and finally rthe 2 remaining matzot, also moistened.

Pour half the remaining oil over the top and bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle with the remaining oil and bake a further 10-15 minutes until a rich crisp brown. Cool for 10 minutes, then serve in squares.

Recipe adapted from The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook by Evelyn Rose (Robson Books 2000).

Jewish communities in Turkey, Greece and Rhodes cooked their own version of matzoh pies, called Megina.

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 lbs ground beef or veal
  • 1 cup minced dill leaves and parsley
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 5 matzos

Preheat the oven to 375 F. With a little of the oil, grease a 13 inch baking dish with a capacity of about 3 ½ quarts.

Heat the remaining oil in a skillet and sauté the onions until they soften. Add the meat and, stirring, sauté until it is browned and all the clumps have broken up. Remove from the heat and pour off some of the accumulated fat. Add the herbs and taste for salt and pepper.

Beat 2 of the eggs just to combine the yolks and whites and add them to the meat.

In a pie plate or the skillet in which you cooked the meat, soak the whole matzos briefly in warm water, just until they soften and before they fall apart. Drain on paper towels.

Beat the remaining eggs just to combine. Place in the wiped-dry pie plate. Carefully dip 2 softened matzos into the eggs. Line the prepared pan with them, breaking the matzos into pieces to fit. Evenly spread the meat mixture over the matzos.

Soak the remaining matzos in the eggs and cover the meat with them. Pour any remaining egg over the matzos.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a rich brown crust forms. Cut into wedges and serve hot.

Recipe from The Passover Table by Susan Friedland (HarperPerennial 1994).

The ancient &ldquoBene Israel&rdquo Jewish community living in Cochin, in India, traces its origin to a shipwreck that left seven Jews stranded on the Indian coast two thousand years ago. They kept their Jewish traditions, though their cooking picked up a distinctly Indian flavor through the millennia.

This Bene Israel Passover dish incorporates lamb, recalling the original Passover sacrifice in ancient Egypt.

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, thoroughly cleaned
  • 1 2-inch piece peeled ginger root
  • 4 hot green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 3 medium tomatoes, pureed with skin
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 t ground turmeric
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 t ground black pepper
  • ½ t cayenne pepper
  • 3 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher for Passover salt

Finely mince cilantro, ginger and green chilies, using a food processor if desired. Heat oil in a large, heavy pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add cilantro mixture and tomato puree and continue cooking until tomatoes lose raw fragrance, about 5 minutes.

Stir in bay leaves, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add lamb and salt, mix well and bring contents to a boil.

Lower heat, cover and simmer gently until fork-tender, about 1 ½ hours, stirring frequently. Add water as necessary.

These fritters were served for breakfast after the first Seder in Bulgaria.

  • 4-5 matzahs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ t salt
  • Oil for frying

Break the matzo in small pieces, and soak overnight. In the morning, squeeze out as much of the water as possible.

Prepare sugar syrup by boiling sugar and 1 ½ cups water together, cooking and stirring for 10 minutes. Set syrup aside.

In a large bowl mix together the matzo, eggs and salt.

Heat enough oil in a frying pan or electric fryer to cover the bottom. Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls or tablespoons into a round shape. Fry and turn until brown on both sides, then drain well on paper towels.

Serve with the hot sugar syrup.

Makes 12-15 large boumuelos.

Recipe from Sephardic Israeli Cuisine: A Mediterranean Mosaic by Sheilah Kaufman (Hippocrene 2002).

Matzah Meal and Cottage Cheese Latkes

In Russia, this was a popular breakfast on Passover.

  • 1 ¼ cups cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 ¼ cups matzah meal
  • 1 onion, coarsely grated, or 3-5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 T plain yogurt or water
  • Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • Ground black pepper

In a bowl, mash the cottage cheese. Mix in the egg yolks, half the salt, the matzo meal, onion, sugar, yogurt or water, and pepper.

Whisk the egg whites with the remaining salt until stiff. Fold one-third of the whisked egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites.

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan to a depth of about ½ inch, until a a slice of matzah added to the pan turns brown immediately. Drop tablespoonfuls of the batter into the pan fry over a medium-high heat until the undersides are golden brown. Turn carefully and fry the second side.

When cooked, remove the latkes from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve immediately or place on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.

Variations: to make sweet latkes, omit the onion and add 1-2 T sugar, chopped nuts and some ground cinnamon. Serve topped with a spoonful of jam or honey.

Recipe from Jewish Food for Festivals and Special Occasions by Marlena Spieler (Southwater 2003).

These unusual pastries are a specialty of the Jewish community in Venice. At its peak, during the Renaissance, the Jewish community in Venice numbered several thousand. Confined to an enclosed island (called the &ldquoGhetto&rdquo, the origin of the term), the Venetian Jews nonetheless managed to produce an incredibly rich intellectual, artistic, religious, and culinary culture.

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 t anise extract
  • 1 t freshly grated lemon rind
  • 2 cups Passover cake flour

Beat the eggs with the sugar, anise extract, and lemon rind. Gradually add enough flour to form a not too loose batter.

Spoon over a nonstick baking sheet, holding the spoon vertically to obtain round medallions. Bake in a preheated 300 F oven for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Let cool on the baking sheet at room temperature before storing in a clean white pillowcase.

Recipes from Classic Italian Jewish Cooking by Edda Servi Machlin (HarperCollins 2005).

The Jewish community in Livorno, in Italy, long had an ancient trading connection with Tunis. There is a Tunisian influence in this classic Livornese Passover cake.

  • ½ lb. dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Oil and matzah meal for the cake pan

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Line a 9&rdquo cake pan with greaseproof paper or use a nonstick springform cake pan, rubbed with oil and dusted with Passover cake flour or matzah meal. Pour in the cake mixture and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 45 minutes.

Recipe from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden (Alfred A. Knopf 1996).

Macaroons originated in Naples, where there name, maccarone, meant &ldquofine paste&rdquo. During the Renaissance, Catherine de Medici&rsquos chef visited France, where he shared these confections, and started a French craze for Macaroons.

These are popular with French Jews, and Jews around the world.

  • 2 cups packaged shredded coconut
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • Chopped dried fruit, chocolate chips, or whole almonds for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a bowl, toss the coconut, sugar and salt. Add the egg whites and work them in with a wooden spoon to form a dough.

Take heaping teaspoons of dough and shape them into balls. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. If desired, place a piece of garnish on top of each ball.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the macaroons to a cake rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Hip Kosher by Ronnie Fein (DaCapo 2008).

This is a classic Passover dessert from Istanbul.

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup ground almonds
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/ ½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Oil and matzo meal for the cake tin

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar til light and pale. Add the ground almonds, then the orange juice and rind and the walnuts. Mix very well.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites stiff, and fold into the nut mixture. Oil a preferably nonstick springform 9&rdquo (23 cm.) cake pan and dust with matzoh meal. Pour in the cake mixture and bake for 1 ½ hours in a preheated 350 F oven. Garnish with orange slices, if desired.

Recipe adapted from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden (Alfred A. Knopf 1996).

Jews have lived in Italy&rsquos Tuscan region since Roman times. Here is an unusual Passover cake from Tuscany.

  • 2 matzos
  • Water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 t grated lemon rind

Soak matzo in water until soft. Place the sugar with 1 T water and cinnamon in a small pan and boil until the sugar is dissolved.

Drain the matzo, squeeze the Water out with your hands, and place in a bowl. Add the egg yolks, the sugar-cinnamon syrup, and the lemon rind and mix well.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and dry, and fold into the matzo batter. Spoon into a greased 8&rdquo springform baking pan and bake in a preheated 300 F oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Unmold upside down and let cool to room temperature. Serve sprinkled with:

Vanilla-Flavored Sugar

Place sugar and vanilla beans into an airtight glass jar and set aside at room temperature for at least 2 weeks before using.

Cake serves 6. Sugar recipe yields 2 cups.

Recipes from Classic Italian Jewish Cooking by Edda Servi Machlin (HarperCollins 2005).

Sponge cake is a classic Passover dessert, with roots in the Spanish Jewish community. Here is an easy, foolproof version, with a subtle Oriental flavor.

  • 9 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup matzah cake meal
  • ½ cup potato starch, plus extra for the pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 T Passover vanilla sugar (see above recipe)
  • 2 t finely minced lemon zest
  • 2 t finely minced orange zest
  • 2 T lemon or orange juice
  • ¼ t, plus a pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an angel food or 10&rdquo tube pan and dust it with potato starch.

Place the egg whites over a bowl of warm water and allow them to stand for a couple of minutes to warm (or leave them at room temperature for 20-30 minutes).

Meanwhile, sift together the cake meal, potato starch, and ¼ t salt. Set aside.

In one bowl, briskly whisk together the egg yolks, ½ cup of the sugar, the vanilla sugar, orange and lemon zest, and lemon or orange juice. Stir in the cake meal and potato starch and combine well.

In a mixing bowl, with clean, dry beaters, whisk the egg whites and salt together until frothy. At high speed, whip, slowly dusting in the remaining sugar, until the whites are stiff and glossy.

Mix one third of the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten and aerate it. Then gently fold in the remaining whites, in 2 batches, to incorporate but not deflate the whites.

Gently pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 325 F and bake until done (30-45 minutes) or until the cake seems just firm when lightly touched.

Cool the pan by inverting onto a large plate. Cake will eventually unmold itself without losing much of its height this way.

Variation I: with the matzoh meal, add 1 t ground cinnamon, ½ t ground cloves, ¼ t each grated nutmeg, ginger, and ground mace or allspice. You may also use brown sugar instead of white.

Variation II: replace the orange or lemon juice with sweet, red, kosher wine. Add ½ cup finely ground toasted nuts with the cake meal and potato starch, or sprinkle the top of the unbaked cake with 2 t sugar and ¼ cup sliced almonds.

Recipe from A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman (Doubleday 1998).

1. In large bowl beat eggs, oil and water.

2. Add matzo meal and salt.

3. Mix just until blended. Do not over mix.

4. Cover and place in refrigerator for 20 mins.

5. Meantime bring 6 cups of water to a boil.

6. After 20 mins, remove chilled matzo ball mix from refrigerator.

7. Moisten hands and form into 1 inch balls. Try not to overwork them.

8. Reduce heat and drop balls into boiling water.

9. Cover, simmer for 40 mins.

Best served in chicken soup.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Created by gabrielle.bryen on September 20, 2016

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  • Prep Time: 10h
  • Cook Time: 1h
  • Serves: 6
  • Category:Basic Skills


  • 1 chicken or turkey carcass and a few extra pieces of poultry if you have them
  • 1 cup quartered carrots
  • 1/2 sweet potato (sliced in half)
  • bayleaf (whole)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (optional)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


  1. 1.Place carcass (and/or other poultry bones) and all other ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a rolling boil. 2. Once the pot has come to a boil, lower temperature to simmer 3. Simmer for about 60 minutes until carrots and sweet potato are fork tender 4. Cool to room temperature 5. Strain out vegetables. Remove any large pieces of chicken that remain and add them back into stock ingredients. 6. Transfer stock to refrigerator and let chill. Remove all congealed fat on the top of broth. Use within 24 hours or freeze for future use.

Matzo Ball Recipes That Are Almost As Good As Your Mother's

Okay, everyone -- whether you call them matzo balls, matzoh balls, matzah balls or kneidlach, these Jewish soup dumplings are a staple of springtime eating. And, as with any well-loved traditional food, we all have our own opinions about what the "best kind of matzo ball" is. We prefer ours to be fluffy, studded with herbs, swimming in a clear broth with some vegetables and chunks of chicken. But you should know that the floaters vs. sinkers debate still rages on, and that there are people on this earth (like one of our grandfathers) who prefer their matzo balls to be the consistency of a golf ball, with the buoyancy of a depth charge. Although it pains us to say so, he is also right, as there is no bad matzo ball.

Any repeat-maker of excellent matzo balls will tell you their own superstitions about how to keep them fluffy or dense -- every trick from adding seltzer to the batter (we say don't) to keeping the lid firmly closed while they cook (we can't decide if this works or not) comes into play. A few tricks we know to be absolutely true: when you're mixing up your dumpling batter, stir just until combined if you want fluffy matzo balls. Over-mixing is a major culprit in rock-hard matzo dumplings. Also, when rolling your batter into balls, don't pack them too much, you want to keep the air in there for floaters.

Although matzo ball soup is traditionally eaten on Passover (on account of, you know, the matzo), we love to eat matzo balls all year long, with seasonally appropriate vegetables chucked into the broth. Until now, we'd only eaten these dumplings in soup -- among the delicious recipes we pulled together for matzo ball soup, you'll also find a recipe for matzo balls that we never would have expected, but obviously need to eat immediately.

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Matzo Balls Meet Bacon At Top Chef's Restaurant

At his restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, Top Chef Ilan Hall is wrapping a piece of bacon around a traditional matzo ball.

"It's a pretty simple recipe, except in place of vegetable oil, we use either rendered bacon fat or lard," he tells Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "The pork fat makes it incredibly fluffy."

Since winning the reality show Top Chef, Hall has become famous for dishes that meld Scottish and Jewish cuisine.

"My mother's from Israel and my father is from Scotland — both Jewish," he says. "When you really want to make your best food, you need to go back to your roots."

Hall didn't grow up eating bacon-wrapped matzo balls, but haggis, schmaltz and kishka were often on the table.

His father was the cook in the family, and when he decided to open a restaurant, he named it The Gorbals, after the neighborhood in Scotland where his father grew up.

In The Gorbals you can find latke and pork belly hash, gefilte fish and chips and pork belly braised in Manischewitz — the traditional the sweet kosher wine many Jews use on Sabbath.

"It's not for the sake of being offensive, I promise," Hall says. "Pork belly lends itself really well to sweet cooking preparations."

One critic of The Gorbals called Hall's food "confrontational cooking." Hall says his dishes were designed to get people's attention.

"We're stuffed inside the lobby of a very nondescript building here in downtown L.A., so we don't have lots of street presence," he says.

And even with all the pork products, Hall says dining at The Gorbals is still a Jewish experience.

"We have the gribenes sandwich, the matzo balls, the latkes," he says. "We had a schnitzel special last week . really, really good, pork shoulder schnitzel."

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

I use my own chicken soup for this you can use your favourite recipe. Mine includes a mandatory ingredient – one or two parsnips.

Matzo Balls

These are light and fluffy but hold together.

4 eggs
2 tbsp schmaltz or vegetable oil
¼ cup club soda or chicken broth
1 cup matzo meal
Salt and pepper

Mix eggs well fork in medium bowl. Add schmaltz or oil, soda water or chicken broth, matzo meal, salt and pepper. Mix until blended. Refrigerate for several hours.

Wet hands in cold water and make about a dozen balls.

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add salt. Add matzo balls. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add to soup.