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Apr 2, 2007 07:07 AM

Matzoh ball question [Moved from the Kosher board]

Yesterday I cooked matzoh balls which turned out beautifully except for a dirty stripe along the circumference. I have since learned that this is due to coagulation and discoloration of albumin from the egg whites. I have also since learned that cooking the matzoh balls in chicken stock instead of water prevents this, since the fat in the stock allows the albumin on the border to dissolve.

Since I laboriously cooked and clarified homemade chicken stock, I did not want to cook the matzoh balls in that stock, which would become cloudy all over again. (Yes, I am a perfectionist!!)

Can you avoid the matzoh ball discoloration by just adding some oil to the boiling water before dropping in the matzoh balls? Any other ideas?

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  1. Not sure about the oil idea. Do you only use the whites as opposed to whole eggs? I use the whole eggs and haven't ever encountered this problem.

    1 Reply
    1. re: markabauman

      To make a lighter matzoh ball, I divide the eggs, whip the whites, and fold them in at the end. Yolks are added at the beginning. Don't know if this is what made a difference. I cooked with the lid on, without any stirring. I like the Harold McGee suggestion!!

    2. I made matzoh balls yesterday and also used the whole egg. No discoloration on my balls!

      1. I am dubious about this explanation for the discolouration. I have never had this happen to my matzoh balls and I always use whole eggs and cook them in water before adding to soup. The only thing I can think of is that some minerals could have become dissolved in the water and somehow ended up on the surface of the matzoh balls. Do you simmer them tightly covered? I suggest that you could lift the lid about halfway through, give the matzoh balls a stir, and recover. That way it avoids anything settling too long on the surface.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Nyleve

          I've been told, under no circumstances, to lift the lid while they are cooking. Don't know if there's any scientific culinary basis to this or not. Hard for me, impatient as I am. I usually just salt the water (Kosher salt, of course- noted your comment about minerals-and usually used filtered water from a Brita)- and just a real slow simmer. I usually put a little seltzer in the mix- wonder if it affects the pH, other than the lightening effect which might counter any discoloration. Should invite Harold McGee to a seder.

          1. re: markabauman

            Well, I'd also been sternly warned against premature lid-lifting. Bah humbug, I say. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest you remove the lid frequently or without good reason, but to do it once in order to stir is fine, I think. Anyway, I didn't note any difference. Some of these stringent rules....control freak issues, I think.

            I suspect the original reason would have to do with keeping a good bit of steam in the pot so that they puff nicely. But the steam builds up quickly once you replace the lid so I don't think it's a big deal.

            1. re: Nyleve

              I have never had a problem with leaving the lid slightly open. In fact, I did so last night and my matzoh balls were the best they had ever been. I use, in lieu of schmaltz or oil, the fat that congeals on the top of the broth (which i guess is schmaltz of some form) and always whole eggs. Never had a stripe and usually boil in water. I also put a lot of garlic salt in mine, as well as parsley.
              Best of luck.