The world is divided into those who love floaters and those who love sinkers. While the delicate floaters are favored by matzoh ball mavens everywhere, I am a closet sinker-lover, which is the way my father’s mother, Grandma Ruchel, made them. Which is not to say I haven’t gobbled with gusto a floater or two in my day. Aunt Irene’s are definitely floaters. Some say club soda makes for a lighter knaidel. Cooking them longer will make them lighter too.
Note: For Passover use kosher-for-Passover baking powder. If none is available, it may be omitted.
Recipes in Judy Bart Kancigor’s book Cooking Jewish were compiled from over 300 family members and friends. This recipe is by Irene Rosenthal.
- Yield: 8 large or 16 small matzoh balls
- 2 tablespoons melted chicken fat, melted shortening, or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup matzoh meal
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons club soda, chicken broth, or water
- Blend the fat and eggs together in a small bowl. Add the matzoh meal, salt, and baking powder and blend well. Add the club soda and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is firm, at least 1 hour.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and lightly salt it.
- Using wet hands, form the mixture into balls (2 tablespoons each for 2-inch knaidlach, 1 tablespoon for 1 1/2-inch), and carefully drop them into the boiling water. Do not crowd the pot. Cover the pot and cook at a slow, steady boil (not a hard boil) until soft, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove the knaidlach with a slotted spoon, and serve in soup.