Kneidlach (Matzah Balls)

Tina Wasserman
Recipe by
Tina Wasserman

This recipe is so old (from my mother) that I can’t bring myself to change the first line that calls for a rotary beater—the kind you crank with your hand while the beaters go around. I did, however, adjust the seasonings a little, because most people are used to the boxed mix.

These are lighter than air and might not form a perfectly shaped ball, but that's OK. Just read the tidbits at the bottom of the recipe for an education in Matzah Ball 101.

4 eggs separated
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup chicken fat or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
Large pinch of ginger
1 1/4 cup matzah meal
2 quarts water with 1 chicken bouillon cube added
  1. Beat egg whites with a rotary beater (or a whisk) until slightly fluffy. Beat or mix egg yolks with the water until foamy. Combine egg whites and yolk mixture, and beat with the rotary mixer until combined and foamy.
  2. Add fat or oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, and ginger to the egg mixture and beat well to form an emulsion. 
  3. Add the matzah meal and stir with a fork until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours before making the balls.
  4. When ready to cook matzah balls, bring water and bouillon to a boil in a 3-quart pot. Make sure the bouillon cube is dissolved. Reduce the temperature so water is at a low simmer.
  5. Lightly grease your hands with a little oil and form balls. Drop them into the simmering seasoned water. If the water is boiling too rapidly, the matzah balls will fall apart.
  6. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes over moderate heat. Do not lift the top off the pot before the time is up.
Additional Notes
  • Commercial mixes all have a leavening agent in them. This recipe doesn’t and only uses the air beaten into the egg whites to make the kneidlach light. 
  • Using garlic powder lets the seasoning evenly distribute throughout the mixture. The result is better than using freshly minced garlic, although I prefer using fresh garlic in food preparation.
  • If you prefer heavier matzah balls, add some more matzah meal to the recipe. Make sure the lid of the pot isn’t raised while the matzah balls are cooking. This way you’ll avoid matzah balls that shrink, become dense, and have a raw, translucent center.

See also: Tina's recipe for Basic Chicken Soup.

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