Joan Nathan’s Matzo Balls


A recipe to accompany this story on The Secret to Better Matzo Balls.

Matzo Balls

Matzo Balls

From “Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France” by Joan Nathan (Knopf, 2010)


  • 2 tablespoons rendered goose or chicken fat (see note)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken or beef broth
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup matzo meal


  1. Put the fat, eggs, water or broth, 2 teaspoons salt, freshly ground pepper, ginger and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the matzo meal and pulse to mix.?Refrigerate an hour or overnight.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the remaining teaspoons salt. Using two teaspoons, dip one into the matzo ball mix and scoop out a spoonful, then push it with the second teaspoon into the boiling water. French matzo balls have a more abstract, irregular shape than American ones. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Makes about 10 matzo balls.
  3. Note: To render fat, melt it down in a pan with onions, or make chicken soup and refrigerate it overnight, then spoon off the fat that accumulates at the top.


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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