Food & dining

The confident cook

Recipe: How to make fluffy, light matzo balls

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for the Boston Globe

To make fluffy, light matzo balls, some cooks add a bit of kosher-for-Passover baking powder to the matzo meal, insisting that this leavening is perfectly OK to use during the holiday. We decided against any leavening agent in our matzo balls — except for the air you beat into eggs, along with a little seltzer — and we didn’t produce sinkers. Begin by whisking the eggs until frothy with an immersion blender or a whisk and some elbow grease. Use less fat than normal and sub seltzer for water or broth. Be sure to use a large pot filled with plenty of salted water and a tight-fitting lid. Ample water, kept at a brisk simmer, mean the balls will cook more evenly. To make sure that the centers are fully cooked, keep the lid in place throughout the slightly longer simmering time. No peeking! When they’re done, transfer to bowls of rich, homemade chicken soup with a few slices of carrots and a sprinkle of parsley or dill.KAROLINE BOEHM GOODNICK

Makes 8

1tablespoon canola oil or melted chicken fat
2tablespoons seltzer water
½cup matzo meal
10cups water
2teaspoons salt

1. In a bowl, combine eggs and oil or chicken fat. Using an immersion blender or a whisk, beat until the eggs are light and frothy.

2. Add the seltzer water and matzo meal. Stir gently to combine. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes.


3. In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring the water and salt a boil.

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4. Meanwhile, divide batter into 8 portions. With slightly wet hands, roll each one into a ball about 1-inch wide. Do not overmix.

5. Gently drop the balls into the boiling water immediately after forming them. Cover with the lid. Lower the heat and simmer the matzo balls for 45 to 60 minutes or until cooked through.

6. With a slotted spoon, remove them from water. Transfer to bowls of chicken soup. Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at