Matzoh Brei

September 15, 2009
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Matzoh brei is my Proustian madeleine. It brings me back to the Saturday mornings of my youth, and never fails to comfort me, whether I make it for breakfast or as an easy dinner alone in my apartment. Being a slightly Jewish foodstuff, there is, of course, a grand debate over whether matzoh brei is whether it should be savory or sweet. Personally, I will only eat it savory and scorn those who top matzoh brei with maple syrup or powdered sugar. I am also wary of those people who like it savory yet add ingredients like dill, sauteed onions or sour cream into the mix. The perfect matzoh brei is not too crispy or well done, but rather slightly gooey and full of matzoh chunks and made only with eggs, matzoh, and milk. It should taste like the Jewish lovechild of scrambled eggs and bread pudding. —Lauren Shockey

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: lauren is a food writer and author based in New York City.
WHAT: A savory, milk-soaked matzoh scramble.
HOW: Soak matzoh in milk and eggs, and then scramble in butter.
WHY WE LOVE IT: While matzoh brei can be savory or sweet -- with different add-ins and toppings -- this is the straight-shooting, salt-and-peppery savory type. As lauren puts it, this matzoh brei "should taste like the Jewish lovechild of scrambled eggs and bread pudding. " We couldn't have said it better ourselves -- we're too busy making a second batch. —The Editors

  • Serves 3 to 4
  • 6 eggs (preferably organic/free range)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 pieces unsalted plain matzoh
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
In This Recipe
  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl. Add the milk, salt, and pepper, and whisk until smooth.
  2. Rinse the pieces of matzoh under cold water until moist. Break up into small pieces (about 1") and add to the egg mixture. With a wooden spoon, stir the egg mixture and make sure each piece of matzoh is well-coated with egg. Let sit about a minute to moisten.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan (nonstick will work best for this) over medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to foam at the edges, add the egg mixture to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir the egg mixture from time to time, scraping up the bits that have stuck to the bottom. The eggs should be served slightly wet and gooey, after about five to seven minutes, but since eggs are a very personal matter, you can cook them for more time if desired. Adjust seasoning if desired, and serve immediately.
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Lauren Shockey is a New York City-based food writer and author of the cookbook Hangover Helper as well as the culinary memoir Four Kitchens. Previously the restaurant critic at the Village Voice, she has written for such publications as The New York Times, Travel + Leisure and the Wall Street Journal.