Matzo brei, or fried matzoh, is a classic Jewish breakfast made by frying eggs and matzo. It’s most commonly eaten during Passover, but many eat it year-round.
Everyone thinks that their mom’s recipe is the best – and I’m no exception.
There are three main style of matzo brei:
- Frittata-style (sometimes called omelet-style): This style has a higher ratio of matzo to egg. The matzo and eggs are mixed prior to cooking, the two cook together into one solid mass, and the dish is served out onto the plate like a frittata – a frittata without any veggies or meat. (Who needs anything else when you can have starch?) Does any other culture mix a cracker with eggs and call it breakfast?
- Cake-style: In this case, a large skillet is used and a thick layer of matzo and egg mixture is poured into the pan. Rather than producing a single-serving frittata, this method yields a matzo brie “cake” that is served in slices.
- Scrambled-style: As the name implies, this style is basically scrambled eggs fried up with matzo. This is my mom’s style and the recipe I’m sharing below.
Regardless of preparation style, different families prefer different levels of matzo softness. I like my matzo hard enough that it doesn’t fall apart, but soft enough so that I can easily cut it with a fork. Jonathan thinks this a blasphemy and that the matzo should be almost mushy (ironic since he prefers matzo balls that are hard as rocks – an entirely different debate).
To soften matzo, you break up pieces of matzo in a colander and run water over them until they are no longer crispy.
How to Serve
If you prefer savory breakfasts, you can make savory matzo brei by:
- Adding savory spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and other herbs.
- Mixing in lox (smoked salmon).
- Mixing in cheese.
- Mixing in grilled onions.
If you prefer sweet breakfasts, you can make sweet matzo brei by:
- Adding vanilla and cinnamon. My father first introduced me to this method when I was in my 20s. He had never been the one to make it as kid so I had no idea that he was holding out on this great twist.
- Topping matzo brei with maple syrup or jam.
Other Passover Breakfast Ideas
- A fruit salad
- A matzo apple cake like this one from Noble Pig
- Matzo meal pancakes like these from OMG! Yummy
- Butternut squash and spinach breakfast casserole from Slender Kitchen (There is no such thing as too many eggs on Passover.)
There’s also never any harm in serving some dessert with breakfast. Try my flourless chocolate cupcakes, my ginger coconut macaroons, and my chocolate mousse pie with a coconut macaroon crust. They are Passover musts every year!
- 4 pieces matzo
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Heat small skillet on medium heat.
- Break matzo into small pieces. The pieces definitely do not need to be uniform.
- Place broken matzo pieces into a colander and run water over them until they are soft but not soggy.
- When the skillet is hot (you'll know because water dropped into it will sizzle), add butter and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add matzo to the skillet and fry until the edges just begin to brown (this should only take a few minutes).
- In a small bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper until the mixture turns a pale yellow.
- Add eggs to the matzo and scramble until cooked.
- Turn out to a plate, top with syrup or jam, and enjoy.