Bubele, Modern-Style

Tina Wasserman
Recipe by
Tina Wasserman

A Reform Judaism magazine reader once asked me to help re-create her grandmother’s recipe for bubele, a matzah meal fritter similar to chremslach. I researched it for months and then, thanks to a friend who gave me a South African Union of Jewish Women cookbook, I found a recipe! The following is my adaptation for the modern cook.

1 cup matzah meal
1⁄4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 cup seedless raisins
2 tablespoons finely ground almonds
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 apple, peeled and coarsely grated (Gala or Fuji)
1⁄4 cup Passover wine, preferably sweet to semi sweet
2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3⁄4 cup water or more as needed
Vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons sugar with 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  1. Combine the first 6 dry ingredients in a 2-quart medium bowl.
  2. Place the lemon juice in a 1-quart bowl and grate the peeled apple into the bowl. If you’re grating with a food pro­cessor, immediately mix the apple with the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. Add the wine, honey, and eggs to the apple mixture. Combine well.
  4. Stir mixture into dry ingredients.
  5. Add water until the mixture is a thick batter, but thin enough to drop from a spoon.
  6. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan until it’s hot, but not smoking.
  7. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter at a time into the hot oil. Repeat with additional spoonfuls, being sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides, for no more than 1 minute per side.
  8. Remove the bubele with a slotted spatula or spoon. Drain on paper towels. If preparing as dessert, combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top while the bubele is still hot.
Additional Notes
  • Don’t overcrowd the food in your frying pan. This is the best way to keep oil at an even frying temperature, which will insure a light, crispy end product.
  • Drain fried foods on a plate covered with crumpled paper towels. You’ll create a larger surface area for absorbing more oil and use fewer paper towels—saving trees at the same time!