Mike Wolfberg's Matzo Balls
This is the crucial ingredient to be added to great chicken
broth to make matzo ball soup. My grandmother, Carrie Rodenberg,
taught me how to make the best matzo balls I have ever had.
Typical matzo balls are heavy and dense, since they are made from
matzo meal. These are light and fluffy and very tasty. You have
to make the balls a day or two before you intend to serve them.
They should be made into balls and allowed to sit in the
refrigerator at least overnight before finally cooking them. They
are meant to be served as dumplings in chicken soup. My recipe for chicken soup is also
on this web site.
- 6 matzos
- I use Manichewitz regular matzos, which I usually buy in
large quantities at Passover time. I find they go bad
after a year, even unopened, so don't use very old ones.
By this I mean they can turn rancid from some oil content
- you can tell by smell if this has happened. If you
detect a whiff of rancid smell, do not use the matzos.
- 5-10 Tbl. rendered chicken fat
- See my recipe.
- 1 large onion
- peeled and chopped into medium-sized pieces
- 1 tsp. salt
- a bit less than 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1-4 Tbl. chopped fresh parsley
- This is optional - they are still great without this.
- 2 extra large eggs
- 6-10 Tbl. matzo meal
- You can buy this in a box. I use Manishewitz brand. The
more you use, the denser the matzo balls are.
- Submerge the matzos in cold water for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large frying pan on medium heat, melt the
chicken fat. When it is hot, add the chopped onions and
then sprinkle the salt on them. Fry these for about 5-10
minutes, not letting them burn, until they are soft and
have turned a golden brown.
- While the onions are cooking, squeeze the matzos to get
rid of as much water as possible. I do this by pressing
the matzos between two large dinner plates.
- Add the pepper to the frying pan and mix in.
- Add the matzos to the frying pan. If the mixture is too
dry, add more chicken fat, so that the mixture is
somewhat moist. Lower the heat to low and cook the
matzo/onion mixture for about 10-20 to reduce the
moisture in the pan.
- Add the chopped parsley and stir thoroughly. Let this
cook for another 3-5 minutes until the parsley is a bit
soft. Remove from the heat and let this cool for at least
- Once the mixture is cool, move it to a mixing bowl, and
add the insides of the two eggs, mixing the eggs into the
- Add the matzo meal - start with 6 Tbl. and add more if
the mixture is too moist. You want to be able to make the
balls with this and have them hold together. If there is
not enough matzo meal, they will not form into balls -
they will just fall apart. Beware that the more meal that
you use, the denser the matzo balls will be. The more
chicken fat you used already, the more matzo meal is
- Using your hands, form the balls of about 3/4 to 1 inch
in diameter. It is helpful to moisten your hands
frequently while you are doing this since, the mixture
will then not stick to your hands. As you form each ball,
place it on a plate. This yields about 30 balls, which
fit on two of my large dinner plates.
- Cover the balls on their plates with plastic wrap and
place them in the refrigerator at least over night.
- When you are about to serve them, bring a large pot of
salted water to a boil, and drop in the balls, one by
one. Keep the heat on high and let them boil for a total
of ten minutes. They tend to double in size.
- Remove the matzo balls from the cooking pot with a
slotted spoon, and move them into a tureen with hot
chicken soup, from which the matzo ball soup can be
served. When this is part of a large meal, such as a
Passover seder meal, count on needing about 3-4 matzo
balls per person. Start by serving two per bowl and
expect that some folks will want more.