Matzo Brei 101

Here’s another classic resurrected for the Chosen People… Foodies. Enjoy.

— Jason

Matzo Brei — some people like to eat it just during Passover, but I like it all year round. To me, it’s the ultimate breakfast food. Both savory and sweet, it combines both aspects of French Toast and scrambled eggs in one package.

The version we are going to do is a savory version which we’ll top with syrup. You can also do a strictly sweet version, but I think the whole notion of that is insipid — you really want the contrast of the savory and sweet together.

The first thing you’ll need to do is take half a box of plain matzos (which you can buy year round), crack them in half, and then half again, and soak them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.

Then you want to drain them in a colander so they are just soaked and a little soggy, but not swimming in water.

Are you ready to make the greatest Hebrew contribution to breakfast and brunch cuisine? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link for more.

Next, you need to make a conscious decision about what kind of frying fat you intend to use. Schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat, will lend a poultry and strong savory flavor to the Matzo Brei — this is usually chosen for “Meat” meals if you are keeping Kosher. Vegetable Oil will keep the meal “Pareve” or neutral and it doesn’t lend extra flavor to the Brei. Butter, which we will be using here, is going to lend a rich dairy taste to the meal and is chosen for “Dairy” Kosher meals.

You’re also going to need a onion, some mushrooms, and six or seven eggs (only one shown here). Figure for each matzah, you’ll need somewhat less than one egg. A half a package of matzos is like seven or eight matzos.

Slice up your mushrooms.

Begin sauteing them in a pan with your chosen fat.

If its a big onion, you’ll need about 1/4 worth.

Chop the onion nice and fine.

Throw it in with the mushrooms.

When the mushrooms and onions are cooked, take it off the heat and set it aside for a few minutes to cool down. You don’t want to add hot mushrooms and onions directly to eggs.

In a large bowl, crack seven or eight eggs, a teaspoon (or 1/2, depending on how salty you want it) of salt and a nice amount of freshly cracked black pepper. Beat them up real good to fully incorporate the yolks with the whites.

Gently incorporate the wet matzos. Toss up and try not to break them down any further.

Matzos incorporated with eggs.

Put in your mushroom and onion mixture, and mix gently.

Mushrooms and onions incorporated.

Melt butter in pan on medium heat.

By now, the poodles are very hungry.

Spoon Matzo/Mushroom/Onion/Egg mixture into hot pan and form into loose pancakes.

Fry on each side until golden brown.

Serve hot with your choice of toppings. I’m partial to the Shagbark Hickory Syrup from Hickoryworks. It lends a nice smoky flavor and is not as cloyingly sweet as Maple Syrup.

Bon Appetit.

16 Responses to Matzo Brei 101

  1. harry says:

    Big debate in my household about the shape of the brei. My wife is all about the pancake shape, and I’m into the scramble.

    I enjoy mine more sweet than savory. A little cinnamon and vanilla mixed in the egg and topped with powered sugar AND syrup. Yum. Off to make some for dinner right now.

  2. Oh hey, congrats on the new baby harry!

  3. Meyer Ratsky says:

    Just two words: ONION-FLAVORED NYAFAT! I’m a ‘scrambler” too, and don’t like ANYTHING SWEET on mine (good thing too, since I’m diabetic!).

  4. Melissa says:

    No, butter!! Only real butter can do this “gourmet” dish justice!!

  5. Randi says:

    my mom never made us savory brei. we always had it with jelly and sugar.( now I like it with syrup) I only use 1 egg and 2 boards. I just discovered this new low carb matza and I really like the brei made with that, its not so heavy. Happy passover.

  6. famdoc says:

    A few comments on the scrambled vs. solid debate: I had two grandmas. My grandma from Vienna made the scrambled variety. My grandma from Berlin made the pancake variety.
    In their honor, I make both. Since the NY Times ran a few matzoh brei recipes several years back, I top my matzoh brei with a mixture of caramelized fruits (granny smith apples, bananas, berries, pineapple, etc.). Cinnamon and maple syrup for me.

  7. NancyH says:

    Sorry Melissa – I’m with Meyer. It just doesn’t taste like Matzo Brei without Onion Nyafat.

  8. Jeff says:


    Going along with this theme, how about a post on matzoh pizza!

  9. David G says:

    Nu? So is Nyafat still out there? I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (San Mateo), and I can’t find it. Two kosher markets in SF have never even heard of it. Would appreciate hearing from anyone in the Bay Area, or anyone who knows how I can order it online.

  10. NancyH says:

    A recent post by Mark Bittman ( got me searching – and horrors – it appears that Nyafat was phased out some time after Rokeach was sold to RAB Food Group in 2006. Someone – please tell me I’m wrong!

  11. Cory H says:

    I’m afraid its true no more Nyafat, Oh gosh what are we to do, call me if you find of any, for sale I’ve called around and nothing

  12. […] don’t rate particularly high on the enjoyment scale on their own. Oh, there’s Matzo Brei,  but at that point the physical properties of the shitty cracker in question have been completely […]

  13. hahna says:

    was poking around looking for ideas (i make mine scrambled, buttered/schmaltzed)… love how the poodles sort of gravitate over to the stove

  14. Daisy says:

    I like mine in a rich chicken broth!

  15. […] there’s Matzo Brei,  but at that point the physical properties of the shitty cracker in question have been completely […]

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