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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.
  1. Submerge the matzos in cold water for about 5 minutes.

  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  4. Add the pepper to the frying pan and mix in.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 10 minutes.

  7. Once the mixture is cool, move it to a mixing bowl, and add the insides of the two eggs, mixing the eggs into the onion/matzo mixture.

  8. 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 necessary.

  9. 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.

  10. Cover the balls on their plates with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator at least over night.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

back to the top of this page This page, maintained by Mike Wolfberg, was last updated on November 06, 2007.