Savory Matzoh Brei

September 15, 2009
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 3 to 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

14 Reviews

Em April 21, 2019
Exactly as my dad made it for us as kids. We topped ours with sugar from the sugar bowl, not maple syrup.
sweetlime April 21, 2019
this is probably controversial, but I believe quite strongly in frying the soaked matzoh in butter before adding egg that you beat separately, the egg cooks fast and then you get the nice re-crisped matzoh pieces as well as soft egg.
as a child i would only eat matzoh brei made with egg matzoh (vastly superior to any plain or whole wheat matzoh).
also pro tip: add poppy sesame and caraway seeds to the beaten egg to make it taste like an everything bagel.
Judith S. July 23, 2015
Savory, of course!
Yet, I do admit to making it slightly sweet when my children were very young.
Scottsdale B. June 10, 2013
Try it with real maple syrup. A little goes a long way.
Lemongrass&Lime April 5, 2013
I had never heard of brei before this post. Sounds delicious. Thanks for broadening my understanding of matzoh and Jewish home cooking.
Daniel D. March 28, 2013
awesome - I topped this off with poppy seeds and a generous helping of horse radish
amysarah March 25, 2013
This is pretty much how I do it too - only difference is I break up the matzoh and soak the pieces in warm water for a minute or two, before draining well and mixing in the beaten eggs/milk (like my mother & grandmother did.) I agree about no seasoning besides salt and a good grinding of black pepper - but when my kids were little, they loved it with a little honey drizzled over the top of the cooked eggs. Still do actually.
alimarcus March 25, 2013
I was raised to only used "egg and onion" matzah and otherwise, this recipe is spot on! I didn't even really know other people made this dish with regularity, what a treat! It was the first thing I learned how to cook - I was about 7 years old, standing on a kitchen chair alongside the stove with my Grandma.
dymnyno March 25, 2013
I have never tried this recipe but it sounds perfect for this weekend!
fiveandspice March 25, 2013
Ha! This was pretty much our breakfast this morning! Congrats on the WC.
Marian B. March 25, 2013
I am obsessed with this dish. I have used whole wheat matzoh with great success. Three cheers for insanely easy comfort food.
Brette W. March 24, 2013
I make my matzoh brei exactly like this, with tons of black pepper. Sometimes I skip the wetting-the-matzoh-in-water part and let it soak a bit longer in the milk. So good.
vivanat March 30, 2013
I had never made matzo brei with milk until today, so I took this advice and skipped the water. Amazing!
Eric L. September 25, 2009
I agree with all of this. This is the exact right matzoh brei. Perfect.