Can We Talk Matzoh Balls?


Matzoh Balls – They’re Not Just for Passover!


Over the last decade, I have made in excess of 1000 Matzoh Balls. We make about 100 every Passover. We make them the day before, the day we call “Cooking Day.” We make 2 per person 34 X 2 for Passover dinner, plus we have them for lunch on cooking day, for a midnight snack, and lunch the following day. And matzoh balls are not just for Passover, we enjoy them throughout the year when we get the the urge to liven up the chicken soup. As the self-proclaimed Queen of The Matzoh Ball, I’m going to share my tips on producing the fluffiest and tastiest of matzoh balls!

MATZOH BALL RECIPE

I use boxed Matzoh Ball Mix which has baking powder in the mix. Or you can use Matzoh Meal and add baking powder and salt.  The ingredients in baking powder are generally: Corn Starch, Bicarbonate of Soda, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Acid Phosphate of Calcium. Since it contains corn starch (corn cannot be eaten during Passover), a baking powder with this ingredient would not be Kosher for Passover. For the holiday you would need to find a Kosher-for-Passover baking powder usually made with potato starch, or buy a Matzoh Ball Mix that does not include corn starch and is labeled Kosher for Passover.

  • 1 packet matzoh ball mix (I like Manischewitz)
  • 2 large eggs (not jumbo)
  • 2 T. good-tasting olive oil
  • 1 t. finely chopped dill
  • 1 t. finely chopped parsley

A carton of Matzoh Ball Mix usually contains 2 packets, each  2 1/2 oz. packet makes about 9 balls. Even though we make 100 balls, we do not double the recipe, we make each batch separately ensuring plenty of room for the balls to expand when cooking. We do, however, have several batches cooking on the stove top at once.

In a small bowl blend eggs with olive oil. Stir in dill and parsley. Add the contents of one packet and blend with a fork. Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil (the larger the better). Do not add salt as there is salt in the mix and adding salt to the water makes for very salty balls.

Wet your hands and roll chilled batter into balls (slightly smaller than a golf ball). Gently drop the nine balls into the boiling water. Cover tightly, turn down the heat to medium-low. This is one of my secrets: do not turn the heat all the way to simmer. I think with medium-low heat, agitation from the boiling water with lots of room in the pot helps create fluffier balls. And every matzoh ball expert knows, DO NOT OPEN THE LID DURING COOKING, as the steam and pressure also helps make those light airy dumplings. So, as we say, NO PEEKING!

Now with this size ball (making about 9 per packet) it will take about 30 minutes to cook all the way through. The boxed mix package says to simmer for 20 minutes, but that is only long enough if you make smaller balls, say 12 per packet, so keep cooking! Now, once thirty minutes has passed, you need to check if the balls are done. Remove one from the pot and cut it in half. The entire center should be light like the outside of the ball, not darker in color. Have you ever been served dense matzoh balls? Called sinkers? I suspect that is because the chef did not test the batch before removing from the pot. If the center is not cooked, continue cooking for another five minutes and test again. The testers make great snacks so be sure to make extra when deciding how many balls you need to cook for your party.

Remove the fully cooked balls with a slotted spoon and cool in a dish or pan in a single layer. Once room temperature, the balls can be covered tightly and refrigerated over night as we do for Passover. If you are serving matzoh ball soup right then, simply add your balls to a bowl of soup and enjoy. Do not cook your matzoh balls in your chicken soup, as this will give you a very cloudy soup.

SERVING MATZOH BALL SOUP ON PASSOVER

Also on cooking day we sauté thinly sliced leeks in schmaltz and blanch thinly sliced celery and carrots cut into matchsticks. We store these vegetables separately  in plastic bags. During the Seder, the large pot of chicken soup is reheated over low heat. When we are ready to eat, we turn the soup to high heat and add two matzoh balls per person to the big pot. By the time we’ve finished our first course of gefilte fish, hard boiled eggs, beet salad, matzoh, horseradish and haroset, the matzoh balls are heated through and the soup is ready to serve. Serve immediately to prevent the soup from becoming cloudy.

To serve the matzoh ball soup, we lay out all 34 soup bowls.We add a small amount of leek, celery, carrot and chopped parsley to each bowl. Then ladel in soup with 2 balls per bowl.

Jack likes to add matzoh to his soup!

After the soup course, you can TEXT your friends to tell them about the
AWESOME MATZOH BALLS you just ate!

If you have never made a matzoh ball soup, I hope you will try it soon! You probably have eggs and olive oil on hand, so simply pick up a box of matzoh ball mix at the market and serve them with your next batch of chicken soup or vegetable soup! And feel free to contact The Queen of The Matzoh Ball if you have any questions!

The 8-day Passover holiday ends at sundown tonight.
We hope you had a wonderful Passover!

24 thoughts on “Can We Talk Matzoh Balls?”

  1. Thanks for all the tips! I think I may have been guilty of undercooking a few times.

    I had matzah balls made with the mix this year for the first time (I usually make mine from matzah meal, not mix). They are indeed light and fluffy! But in reading the label, I noticed the mix has baking soda in it. I’m baffled by this since I didn’t think that would be kosher for Passover… the box, of course, says it is.

    Next year, I’m using the mix!

  2. Wow Lori – That’s a lot of matzo balls! Italians in the North, near Austria, make something similar called ” canederli.” I’ve only made them once but I appreciate your tips.

  3. I have been tempted many times to pick up a box of the matzoh mix, but was not sure what to do with it. Thank you for the wonderful explanation and I am wishing you and your family a wonderful Passover.

  4. I associate comfort with Matzoh Ball soup. Many years ago when I lived in O.C. I used to go to a deli called Kaplan’s (no longer there) to pick up this soup, locks and bagels too. Didn’t necessarily eat them together.. but love them both! Your families Passover Meals always look wonderful.

  5. your matzo ball soup looks great. so baking soda is the reason why the boxed matzo matzo balls come out so light!!! Now I know. If I were to make them with just matzo meal and not from the mix how much baking soda would I use?

    1. Hi Sandi – Since I do not cook them that way I am going to refer you to Rita Milos Brownstein and her fabulous book, Jewish Holiday Style:
      1 c. matzoh meal
      1 t. baking powder (powder, not soda)
      1 t. salt
      1/2 t. black pepper
      4 eggs
      1/4 c. water
      1 T. oil

      Please let me know how it goes!
      Lori Lynn

  6. Yours look gorgeous! I had friends in Dallas that used to hire me to make their meal, since one friend said her mom made cement Matzoh, and wanted to see if I could do better. I enjoy eating it, since I am a broth eater…

  7. I am happy to talk maztoh balls! We don’t reserve them just for Passover either, they are a staple on our Rosh Hashana menu too.

    I’m glad to hear I don’t come from the only family who relies on matzoh ball mix. Although, I’m pretty sure my mom and grandma always did this for the convenience, not out of concern for the cornstarch which would be in the baking powder if one were to make matzoh balls from scratch. You want to know where I learned to cook? Not from my mom! You see, I was the first to actually suggest finding a recipe to make matzoh balls from matzoh meal and spices, when I ran out of mix and needed more balls one year. To me it was pretty much intuitive that matzoh ball mix was essentially matzoh meal + spices; to others in my family, this was somehow a shocker!

    Anyway, I’m very impressed at the amount of matzoh ball soup (and all the other food!) you turn out for 34 people – I would love to do that but I don’t think I even have the refrigerator space if I wanted to invite that many people!

    1. Hi Cara- yep, we definitely do need our second refrigerator in the garage.
      I love that matzoh balls were your cooking inspiration. Mine was noodle kugel when I was in 8th grade.

      I left the spices out of this post, as I think they are not essential to the recipe. But the spices in the boxed mix are: onion, pepper, garlic, and celery seed. I say, just add the fresh herbs, that will add much more fresh flavor!

  8. I am going follow your method exactly. It’s been too long since I had a matzoh ball in chicken soup. I actually do the same thing with noodles – do not cook them in the soup. It adds flavor but makes the noodles soggy and clouds the soup! You have me hankering for this now. Sounds like a celebratory and welcoming Passover is being had by all.

  9. My task is making the balls dense enough for my husband! I admire you for taking all of these wonderful photos. I did take a picture of the table this year, but was so wrapped up in the cooking and serving, that I forgot to take pictures of ANY of the guests! There’s always next year. Happy Pesach, Lori Lynn. I always love looking at your photos and recipes.

    1. Hi Penny – I know exactly what you mean, so I assigned my dear friend Peggy to take photos while I cooked and served. She had a ball, and I got some great photos for the blog!

  10. Gorgeous, LL! What a grand celebration. I hope you have had a lovely Passover week.

    Box mix notwithstanding, those big, fat dumplings look like the best of homemade. Love that full tray of ’em. : )

  11. Lori Lynn, it’s too long since I dropped in on you ~ and I’m agog again at how beautiful your site is. I don’t know where to look first! But the matzoh balls look like the sensible and tasty place to start. I’ve learned a lot of new things here today, thank you!

  12. Maybe I’ve been making my matzo balls wrong. I leave them on a low simmer with the lid partially tipped. Going to have to switch up my technique. Also didn’t know that you have to find special matzo ball mix for Passover….not that I keep kosher for Passover. But I just assumed that the ingredients in the mix would be kosher for Passover.

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