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Matzo Meal Substitute For Matzo Balls?

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Hey all! I live in a country that doesn't have matzo available in any form, but I'd like to make something getting as close to matzo balls as possible (I don't keep kosher, I'd just like to make some for soup!).

When you break it down, dumplings are just made of flour and water, right? Do you think just crushing up a bunch of saltine crackers would make a good substitute for matzo meal?....Is there a way to break it down even to the barest of basics and just use flour to simulate a good, fluffy, eggy matzo ball?

I'd love some help with this!

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  1. I was at a friends house and made "mock-ozobrie" using saltines so I would think saltines would work to make matzo balls..

    1. I'd go with almost no-salt crackers or very plain biscuits crushed.

      If you can get naan or pita bread, leave it out until you can hammer nails with it & crush it. Almost the same as matzoh.

      1. You may want to look at Semmelknoedel (Bread) or Griessnockerl (Semolina) which are very similar. You may want to add some Chicken Fat to the doughs to imitate the flavor of a Matzo Ball.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chefj

          Agree that Griessnockerl are very like matzo balls...semmelknoedel, not so much.

          1. re: Liz K

            Depends how you make them.
            With dried bread that is coarsley and unevenly crushed or grated it yields a Semmelknoedel that is quite like a Matzo Ball

        2. How about something like Swedish knackebrod? I don't think that saltines would give you the right texture.

          1. ok I consulted my granfather and he said... "OY VAY( really he did) Well dont use any bread and try to make it stale I would use water crackers. Such as Carr's. You need a cracker texture to get the fluff. You can always make your own Matzos then make your meal from them"

            9 Replies
            1. re: girloftheworld

              LOL, thanks girloftheworld - and everyone! Ever since I moved to Japan, there is just no finding matzo meal. At all! I miss it so much, but at this point, for anything approaching a delicious matzo ball, I'm desperate and willing to try just about anything as a substitute! Please thank your grandfather for me!! I know it's a sacrilege, but I'm dyin' here! ;)

              Unfortunately, I can't find any other type of thin water cracker or anything close enough to the consistency of matzo (ohhh how I've searched!), so plain saltines it will have to be. Thanks everyone so much for your feedback and suggestions! :)

              1. re: animatrixie

                Panko? May be?

                1. re: chefj

                  I thought about panko, but it seems like it might be too soft and light to make into balls on its own with just eggs. I'm going to keep it in the back of my mind, though, just in case the saltines idea doesn't work out. :)

                2. re: animatrixie

                  Have you checked with the kosher market? I found matzo even in international stores that carry American brands in SE Asia. Japanese stores are also abounding with all sorts of crackers as well.

                  1. re: BekaBakes

                    I wish we had a kosher market in my city! I think there's a small pantry run by a temple in Tokyo, but I don't live anywhere near there. My closest city with any kind of Jewish community is Kobe, but I've never found any listings for the availability of kosher foods there. I might one day venture out to their synagogue and see if there's maybe a tiny shop near it somewhere that's not turned up on the internet radar. :)

                    1. re: animatrixie

                      It is possible to ship a box to Japan from the US.
                      Shipping would probably be about $15 for 1st class package.

                      Have you a relative that can do the deed???

                      Compared to Japanese prices, a 50-cent knaidlah would be a bargain!

                      1. re: animatrixie

                        I bet they could help you get matzo meal. http://www.jcckobe.org/

                    2. re: animatrixie

                      I was going to suggest water crackers, too, as they are somewhat similar to matzah. However, depending on where in Japan you are located, have you tried getting in touch with Chabad? They're located in Tokyo and are probably your best bet on finding kosher/Jewish ingredients.

                      http://www.chabadjapan.org/kosher-foo...

                    3. re: girloftheworld

                      Water biscuits are a lot like matzo, right? I think they too only consist of flour and water. The composition should be basically similar.

                    4. You possibly could order matzo meal on-line - shipping might be costly but since you are desperate... :)

                      I make quinoa balls for chicken soup since my SIL is allergic to gluten. They are delicious and amazingly similar to matzo balls in texture.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: herby

                        Ooh, quinoa! That's an interesting idea!! Thanks, I'll look into it! :)

                        1. re: animatrixie

                          You basically make them like you would matzo balls substituting quinoa flakes for matzo meal. Let me know if you need a recipe.

                          1. re: herby

                            I know it's been a while since you posted this but could I get the recipe?

                            1. re: frumgirl1

                              Sure! I use this one suggested ages ago by 'goodhealthgourmet' of these boards: http://www.tamaraduker.com/2009/03/no...

                              This recipe makes 'sinkers' which my SIL and grandkids love. If you prefer lighter balls, substitute two egg whites for one of the eggs - beat them well and incorporate gently. Also a splash of Club Soda helps to lighten them up a bit.

                              ETA: I always cook matzoh balls in chicken stock and leave any leftovers in the soup to be reheated later. There almost never any leftovers :)

                      2. There are a few recipes for homemade matzos online, for example:

                        http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/homem...

                        http://leitesculinaria.com/84910/reci...

                        I think your best bet would be to make the matzos, grind them into matzo meal, and make the matzo balls from that.