A really flavorful stock is the key to this recipe. I like to use bean cooking liquid (like from this), but Deborah Madison also has really excellent stock recipes. If you have it, I also suggest using any fat that solidifies in your stock in place of vegetable oil.
note from Serious Eats: If you want dense sinkers, use water and omit the baking powder. For light matzo balls that still have some substance, use seltzer but omit the baking powder. For very light matzo balls use seltzer and add anywhere from 1/8 teaspoon to 1 full teaspoon baking powder (more baking powder will yield increasingly light matzo balls, with the higher amounts making insanely light ones).
adapted from Serious Eats.
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup seltzer or water
- 1/4 cup neutral oil like vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 1/8 to 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional; see note)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 quarts stock, divided
- Finely diced carrot and celery
- 2 fresh dill sprigs, plus picked fresh dill fronds for garnish (or about 2 tsp dried dill)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs with seltzer and oil. In a small bowl, stir together matzo meal with baking powder (if using), salt, and pepper. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, divide stock evenly between two pots, season both with salt, and bring to a simmer. Add diced carrots and celery and dill sprigs to one pot and simmer until just tender; discard dill sprigs and keep warm.
- Using wet hands, and re-wetting hands as necessary, form matzo-ball mixture into 1- to 1 1/2-inch balls, and add to simmering pot of stock that doesn’t have the carrots and celery. When all matzo balls are added, cover and simmer until matzo balls are cooked through, 1 hour. Cooked matzo balls can be kept warm in their broth until ready to serve.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer matzo balls to serving bowls (you should have at least 3 per bowl); strain matzo-ball-cooking broth and save for another use. Ladle hot clear broth with carrots and celery into each bowl and garnish with dill springs. Serve.