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The How-To's of Matzo Balls

Got a great matzo ball recipe you'd like to share? I'm always on the lookout for a good one. Are yours hard? Soft? Small? Large? How do you prepare and serve them? I'm always in a quandary about cooking them. Usually I cook them right before serving them with the soup. It's usually very hectic doing things that way tho. Do you cook them and hold them? In the cooking water or in the soup? HELP!

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  1. Kingsketz -
    Here's what I offered to another poster w/similar query:

    The trick is to keep the pot covered so the steam can cook and fluff the balls!

    Make the matzo meal mixture as instructed on a box. Use Croyton House if you have in your town other wise another will do. I always add just a little of the soup mix from the box into the mixture to help flavor the m.balls. (They all have msg). Once the mixture is set (and, you don't have to put in fridge) just take spoon fulls out and very lightly roll in your well oiled palms. Drop into soup broth that should be at a boil. Once all balls are made and in broth, COVER with the perspective pot lid. By covering, you're trapping the steam produced by the broth. This will result in very fluffy, NOT hard yummy matzo balls. Can't go wrong. I usually add barley or a small noodle to my soup as well as the balls. Makes for interesting textures and creates a little bulk. I also love OSEM brand mini croutons. "The original mandel" I find it cheapest at mid-eastern markets or Smart and Final. But if you have Ralphs, they carry it too. Enjoy and happy Passover to you! :)KQ

    4 Replies
    1. re: Kitchen Queen

      Oddly enough, my family recipe calls for the pot to only be partially covered during cooking and I've never had a sinker in my life (using this recipe). No seltzer, either. Just eggs, salt, and matzah meal.

      Aunt Frances' poorly typed recipe says that they freeze very well but I've never had them around long enough to find out.

      What I've found, though, recipe notwithstanding, that the less you handle the matzah balls while shaping them, the lighter they will be. The theory is the same as making meatballs. Don't compact your mixture by overhandling.

      1. re: Kitchen Queen

        Could one use duck fat? I have some left over from xmas!

        1. re: Diana

          It was used by Ashkenazi Jews for centuries.

      2. In our family the mb's have to be light and fluffy -- and medium sized! I always make them a day or two ahead and hold them in the soup, tho I surely don't cook them in that! I even freeze them in the soup.

        1. For years my mom made matzo balls by whipping egg whites and folding them with the matzo meal. Then one year I decided to take the easy way and follow the directions on the Maneschiewitz box. They are now the household favorite. They are about 1" across when formed and have a soft but not mushy texture. I don't cook them in water. I cook them directly in the soup and hold them. They don't "drink" the soup as you might logically fear they might. If the soup cooks down if the seder runs a bit long, just add a bit of water to dilute the flavor.

          1. For me they have to be fluffy, our family recipe always uses beaten egg whites and seltzer, medium size (definitely not large). The batter keeps well in the fridge, so like you, I always boil them (in salted water) right before I need them, so they're fresh. It does work to make them ahead of time and keep them in a bowl, tightly wrapped, though. I usually just do it a few hours in advance, but they can keep in the fridge or frozen (not in water OR soup, they get too waterlogged!!) They get a little misshapen, though, from gravity and sitting in a bowl or on a plate. For company, I find it worth the footwork to have them fluffy and fresh :)

            Incidentally, although I generally demand a fluffy matzo ball, the "green onion and dill" matzo balls on epicurious are a great compromise texture, not too dense and not too fluffy, and don't require beating the egg whites. They keep a little better, too, since they're not so fluffy and delicate

            1 Reply
            1. re: another_adam

              My grandma Tillie always used seltzer too. They were light and fluffy. Honestly, I don't remember the other recipe tricks she used to have.

            2. I use the Manischevitz (sp?) mix and instead of oil, I use melted chicken fat. Very effective. Roll about the size of a walnut and they will plump to large ping pong ball size.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Oh Robin

                Blush. I love the matzoh balls from mix. My mother - who just about made water from scratch - used the mix too. It is foolproof, easy as pie and have never ever failed me. And yes, they're a bit salty. But I love salt and anyway then I can undersalt the soup and it still works.

                1. re: Oh Robin

                  I add a little schmaltz and dill. My matzoh balls are always cooked in broth (lid on for at least 30 mins) and they come out just wonderful with a nice chicken flavor.