For those who can’t make up their minds about using chicken fat and prefer a delicate matzoh ball, these are a great choice: the only fat here comes from the egg yolks. Eliminating the fat and separating the eggs make for a very light dumpling where the wheaty flavor shines through delicately.
Serves about 8
4 large eggs, separated
- optional add-ins: 2 teaspoons finely grated onion, 2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh chives, 3 tablespoons finely snipped fresh dill
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup matzoh meal
- broth for cooking the matzoh balls (you can use low-sodium purchased; best if “doctored up” a bit), or less desirably, salted water
Beat the yolks very well until thickened. Whisk in the onion, chives and dill, if using, about 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste (this amount is for coarse kosher salt; use less if using a finer grind), and pepper to taste. In a separate bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until you have soft peaks that hold their shape. Gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture until well combined. Sprinkle with the matzoh meal and gently mix until completely blended in. Let rest 20 minutes.
Bring a large, very wide lidded pot of broth or well-salted water to a boil. Lightly form the mixture into walnut-size balls. (A light touch is essential here--perfectly formed, compact little balls will result in dense, heavier matzoh balls.) Place the balls on a platter.
Reduce the heat a bit. Slide the balls one by one into the water. Avoid crowding the pot--if necessary, cook the matzoh balls in two batches. When the liquid returns to a gentle boil, cover the pot tightly and lower the heat to a very slow boil. Cook without removing the cover for 30-40 minutes. Test for doneness: remove a matzoh ball and cut it in half. It should be tender, fluffy, and completely cooked through. If it isn’t, continue cooking for a few more minutes.
Remove the matzoh balls gently with a skimmer or a large slotted spoon--they are too fragile to pour into a colander. If you’ve cooked the matzoh balls in water, transfer them to the soup and let them sit there for at least one hour. (Don’t eliminate this vital step: matzoh balls cooked in water need to absorb some of the soup’s flavor).