Perfectly fluffy: Matzo Balls (kneidlach)

A matzo ball, swimming in soup.

My mother’s matzo balls were always “puchie”*, and my grandmother’s were dense. My grandmother, a wonderful cook, just could not get them to be like my mom’s even though they used the same recipe—or so they thought. It turned out that my mother was beating her egg whites; Nana was not. Today I came across my mother’s recipe, which in true form was merely a list of ingredients. I mixed it together, folded in the beaten egg whites last, and it looked awful. So I threw that batch away and began again. This time I folded in the egg whites earlier, and it worked! These are the lightest, fluffiest matzo balls you’ll ever taste.

*Puchie is my spelling for the Yiddish word for fluffy. The “ch” is made at the back of your throat, as if you are beginning to spit.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 Tbs. oil (or schmaltz)
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh parsley (optional, but it’s very pretty)
  • ½ c. matzo meal

Directions

  1. Put a large, covered pot of salted water up to boil.
  2. Mix together the egg yolks, oil, water, salt, and parsley.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff, fold into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the matzo meal a little at a time. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  4. Wet your hands and form batter into approximately 2˝-diameter balls, then place into simmering water. After all the matzo balls are in the water, cover, and leave undisturbed for 30 minutes. Do not let the water come to a hard boil as that will damage the delicate matzo balls.
  5. Serve in chicken, turkey, or vegetable soup.

For favorite Passover recipes from my kitchen, please see Essential Passover from Scratch: Recipes and Stories from My Mother’s Kitchen

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