The first time I had matzo ball soup was at my friend Ben’s apartment in LA circa 2011. Ben was beside himself, upset that his matzo balls weren’t fluffy & that his broth wasn’t flavorful enough. He advised me for help, but all I could really do was tell him how to make his broth tastier (hint: salt). He ladled some soup in a bowl for me to try, repeatedly saying, “imagine these matzo balls are light & fluffy, not dense & hard like these. I messed up, so, I’m sorry I’m ruining your first matzo ball experience.” Since I never had it until that first slurp, I politely asked for seconds because I thought it was like chicken noodle soup, but with balls of matzo meal. I didn’t know what it should’ve tasted like, but I thoroughly enjoyed Ben’s failed matzo ball soup.
Moving forward a few years later when I started dating Josh, we made the soup together for the first time & our matzo balls turned out perfectly. To be fair, we “cheated” by using Streit’s Matzo Ball mix so it was guaranteed to come out fluffy every time. Ben, a former pro matzo ball maker, was still struggling to make a batch of good matzo balls that weren’t hard as rocks. I tried to figure out the science behind it & even adventured to make the balls from scratch. I had a few moments of failure, but finally, last year, I–the Vietnamese girl who only had it for the first time 3 years prior–produced a recipe to make the perfect fluffy, yet dense matzo ball soup. My recipe is so good that the balls don’t obliterate into mush when they hit the nearly boiling water. These babies will stay together & they’ll be fluffy, just like your Jewish grandmother made them. I shared my recipe with Ben before publishing it here, to which he’s confirmed success. Furthermore, I’ve made this recipe 3 times with 100% success & the Jewish boyfriend approves.