HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Matzo balls ... light/fluffy or heavy/dense?

Not being Jewish, and not even pretending to be Jewish, I have no real point of reference as to which is better, or preferred.

I will admit I like them both - either light and fluffy almost like a flotation device or heavy and dense like some edible anchor.

What say you? Do you have a preference?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm not Jewish either and have to say I do like them dense and within a heavy soup.

    1. I am Jewish, and this debate has been raging for as long back as I can remember, which is sometime back in the 1950's. I remember both my grandmothers, my great grandmother, a bunch of aunts, great aunts and even some of my uncles, discussing the "golf ball" or the "tennis ball"....

      I really do not recall any clear definitive answer, just a lot of hyperbole, . My one uncle asked my grandmother to make both kinds,, so she did, this way no one could complain....as for me....
      I love food, and am pleased to have them eitherway.
      The next debate ...should they be large or small?
      ( On the Kosher board, I beleive I saw some tips to make them fluffy)
      Let the discussion continue!

      1. I'm not Jewish (but have Jewish in-laws) and have a definite preference for the lighter/fluffier ones. I don't like that heavy feeling in my stomach.

        But, some of the lighter ones have a defined "graininess" which is odd too.

        It's like pie dough ... if it's overworked it's tough, if it's just right it melts in your mouth. ;)

        2 Replies
        1. re: eperdu

          I am Jewish and we always made fluffy floaters for MB soup and hard sinkers for tzimmes. Tzimmes is made many different ways but in my family it was a stew with flanken,carrots,sugar-sometimes a boatload and small hard MB.

          1. re: SIMIHOUND

            My soup matzo balls are floaters, big, light and fluffy. My Tzimmes matzo bals are heavy like lead. BUT this is not because I make them differently, it is because of the way they are cooked. In fact I make a big bowl of mix, put half in boiling water to make for soup and the other half raw in the tzimmes to cook. the bake in the tzimmes, absorbing the heavy juices, meat drippings (I put a brisket in the tzimmes) and the honey. They don't boil freely in a 20 quart pot of water, thus they are sinkers.

        2. You mean, floaters or sinkers? Definitely floaters!!!! Use seltzer in ' em to give some lightness and lift!

          1. No, because I've never, ever had a matzo ball that I didn't like. And I'm not Jewish, either.

            1. Anyone can make light and fluffy MB's by just following the directions on the box. It takes art and skill to make those rock hard bombs. I'm all in for the bombs!

              1 Reply
              1. re: franpelyk

                I wish I could switch skills.....I greatly prefer the light fluffy ones, but seem to be destine to forever make the sinkers.

              2. floaters all the way!

                1. In our family, around the table at Rosh Hashana or Passover, the ultimate compliment to my baba was to tell her the matzo balls were floating to the ceiling.

                  Definitely the lighter the better.

                  1. I like them either way, but lately after years of not knowing how to make the fluffy ones, and then learning how to, they've become my preference.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: michele cindy

                      What was your secret to the light ones?

                      1. re: nosh

                        My mother insists that your hands must be freezing cold and to work the mixture as little as possible.

                        If you're using a boxed mix they'll come out soft every time if you follow the recipe.

                        If you're making them from scratch I've found that using oil instead of shmaltz, and adding seltzer instead of water makes them really light (too light even).

                        1. re: nosh

                          I use seltzer instead of water, and separate the eggs, whip up the whites then gently fold them into the matzoh meal. A friend I worked with taught me this and it works like a charm!

                      2. I'm Jewish and have always preferred the sinkers that my mother made. My maternal grandma made floaters and took great pride in them. I've never tried to make MB but have no doubt that if making them takes really great skill, then I'm destined to make sinkers.

                        1. floaters all the way. seltzer, whipped egg whites, cold, well-oiled hands, and a very light touch.

                          i can't stand sinkers. too doughy.

                          1. I cheat by adding about 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to the matzoh meal. I like light floaters.

                            1. If you put in onions fried in schmaltz, they can't float. If you don't put in onions fried in schmaltz you should

                              1. Medium sized floaters, without a doubt.

                                1. Non-Jewish ex-DH once came from work and asked (Jewish) me "if I said 'floaters or sinkers' would you know what I was talking about?" I said, "matzoh balls, what else?"

                                  For the record I prefer sinkers, but I've never met a matzoh ball I wasn't happy to eat. Yum!