Matzo Brei has evolved from a Passover breakfast staple to a gourmet year–round meal option with many contemporary variations. It can be served as a side dish, an entrée or dessert at any time of the year. Our Classic Basic Matzo Brei recipe goes "up a notch" with some delicious add-ins. All are Passover friendly, and comforting year round.
4 large eggs
4 boards matzo
4 cups boiling hot water
1/4-cup oil, margarine or butter
Break matzos up into 2”– 3” pieces.
Place matzos in a bowl. Pour hot or boiling water over matzo; let sit about 2 minutes, turning occasionally with a spatula or hands. Gently, drain and squeeze out water. Matzo should be softened but not “mushy”.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl, season with salt. Combine matzo and egg mixture.
Heat oil or butter (or a combination) in a large, non-stick pan. Add softened matzo mixture. Fry approximately 4 minutes over medium heat until golden brown.
Flip over in one piece for a single “frittata” pancake style matzo brei, or break up matzo pieces and turn over like a “scramble”. In any case, fry on both sides until golden brown and sizzling!
Yield: Serves 4- Estimate 1 -1 1/2 half matzos per serving
Bananas Foster: Sauté 2 thinly sliced bananas,1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/3 cup pecans in 1/4 cup margarine until sugar is melted and add to Matzo Brei just before “flipping”.
The Deli Special: Sauté 1/3 – 1/2/lb. deli meats such as pastrami, salami, corned beef in oil just until warmed through, and add to classic Matzo Brei batter.
Cinnamon Toast: Sauté 1/2 cup raisins, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in 2 tablespoons butter until sugar is melted. Add to Matzo Brei batter. Top with cinnamon sugar or maple syrup, fruit preserves, honey or sliced apples when serving.
Caramelized Onion: Caramelize 1 cup thinly sliced onions over low heat until golden brown. Sauté 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms and ½ cup chopped red or green bell pepper Add to matzo brei batter and fry.
Lox and Cream Cheese: Sauté 1/2 cup chopped onions or snipped chives, 1/4 lb. – 1/2 lb. sliced lox or nova in 2 teaspoons oil. Add to classic matzo brei batter and fry. When serving, top with sour cream, dill sprigs, crème fraîche or capers.
Italian: In 2 Tablespoons olive oil, sauté 1/2 cup each chopped peppers, and eggplant – fry until eggplant is soft. Add black and green sliced olives. Add to matzo brei batter. Fry as per instructions above. After flipping, top with ½ cup mozzarella and a pinch of chopped fresh basil. Serve hot, with Parmesan on the side.
Tex-Mex: In 1-tablespoon oil, sauté 1/2 chopped onion, 1/2 jalapeno pepper, and a pinch of fresh cilantro. Add to classic matzo brei mixture. After flipping, top with 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/4 cup salsa. Remove from pan and top with 1/2 cup guacamole and sour cream. Serve with salsa.
Coffee Cake: Sauté 1 cup chopped apples in 2 Tablespoons butter or oil until softened. Sprinkled mixture with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2-teaspoon cinnamon. Mix in 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and sauté until warm and sugar is melted. Add to matzo brei batter. When serving, top with additional cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.
MATZO BREI - A HISTORY
When translated from Yiddish, the words matzo brei are usually thought to mean fried matzo, or matzo crumble, a classic combination of eggs and matzo, fried in oil, butter, margarine or schmaltz (rendered chicken fat). It can be sweet or savory, scrambled or pancake like, and through the years has taken on numerous, countless variations in taste, ingredient and preparation.
Recipes for matzo brei have been handed down for generations. According to food historian Gil Marks, in his James Beard award–winning book Encyclopedia of Jewish Food (Wiley), the first reference to fried “Matsos” was found in The Jewish Manual (London, 1846). Eggs were recorded as part of the recipe in Aunt Babette's Cook Book (Cincinnati, 1889) in a recipe entitled “Ueberschlagene Matzos”, and then again referenced in The Settlement Cook Book 1903 with a recipe entitled “Matzos Pancakes”.
Matzo Brei has evolved from a Passover breakfast staple enjoyed at Bubbie’s house, to a gourmet year–round meal option with many contemporary variations. Although it still remains a nostalgic, popular and delicious Passover dish, it is not unusual to find matzo brei containing lox and capers topped with crème fraîche, or garnished with fresh fruit on restaurant menus. And, for those into more healthful eating and whole grains, matzo brei can be made with whole wheat or spelt matzos! It can be served as a side dish, an entrée or dessert at any time of the year. We present some variations, which are all Passover friendly, but comforting and delicious year round.
We started with a basic Matzo Brei recipe and, with some variations (eight of them), turned it into something "New". Enjoy these recipes for Classic Basic Matzo Brei with Variations – including Cinnamon Toast, Bananas Foster, The Deli Special, Tex–Mex, Caramelized Onion, Lox and Cream Cheese, Italian, Coffee Cake. Enjoy!
Recipes: Passover, Matzo Brei, Meat or Dairy, Kosher, Eggs