Matzah, matzoh, matza - there are as many ways of spelling this New York classic as there are ways to cook it: several small balls versus one big ball; dense balls versus light and fluffy ones; vegetables in the broth versus broth only, and the list goes on. This recipe makes 12 medium-sized matzo balls that are light and fluffy, with some carrots and parsnips in the broth for sweetness. Many Jewish New Yorkers serve matzo ball soup at their seder dinner to mark the start of passover. The dish, however, is enjoyed year round at the city's Jewish delis.
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 115 g (1 cup) coarse matzo meal (see Note)
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) sparkling water
- 60 ml (¼ cup) schmalz (see Note) or chicken fat, melted
- ½ tsp kosher salt (see Note)
- 2.25 litres homemade or good-quality chicken stock
- 2 parsnips, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
- dill sprigs or flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You can start this recipe a day ahead.
To make matzo balls, place eggs, matzo meal, water, schmalz, salt and ½ tsp pepper in a bowl, and combine to form a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Roll the matzo mixture into 12 golf ball-size balls and gently drop into the pan of boiling water. Reduce heat to medium–high and cook for 25 minutes or until the matzo balls have almost doubled in size and are cooked through. Drain, then transfer matzo balls to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, to make broth, place stock, parsnips and carrots in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Ladle the broth into 6 warmed bowls, add 2 matzo balls to each bowl and scatter over dill sprigs to serve.
• Matzo meal and kosher salt are available in the kosher section of supermarkets.
• Schmalz is poultry fat skimmed from stock and is available from selected delis. Substitute rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil.
Photography by Brett Stevens.