I wrote up my matzah ball pho recipe for The Nosher. Head over there to read the full article, and check out other great recipes :)
2 medium unpeeled yellow
1 large 4”-5” piece of
ginger, cut in half lengthwise
1 4-5 lb. chicken, cut into
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or
1 tablespoon rock sugar or
Turbinado (raw) sugar
1 teaspoon whole coriander
2 tablespoons fish sauce or
1 small white onion, thinly
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large bunch of fresh Thai
2-3 limes cut into wedges
2 Fresno chilies or
jalapenos, sliced thin
Sambal oelek (garlic chili
sauce), to taste
¼ cup oil schmaltz or oil
(vegetable or safflower)
Char your onions and ginger
by either placing them on a baking sheet under a broiler for 8-10 minutes, or
by charring them over a gas flame on your stovetop for a few minutes on each
side. The onions and ginger should be nicely charred but still firm - this
essential step will deepen the broth’s flavor. Once the onions and ginger are
charred, remove the skin from the onion. Rinse the onion and ginger, and use a
small knife to scrape off excess charred bits to prevent your broth from getting
Cut your chicken into parts:
separating the breasts, legs, wings, and backbone. This will insure that your
chicken cooks evenly and that the breasts will not become dry and tough when
In a small skillet over
medium heat, toast the cinnamon, anise, and coriander until lightly browned and
fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the spices.
Add the onion, ginger, and
chicken to a large pot. Fill the pot with 5 quarts of water. Bring the water to
a simmer; skim the impurities as they rise to the top.
After twenty minutes of
simmering, or once they’re cooked through, remove the chicken breasts and allow
them to cool.
Add the toasted spices,
salt, and sugar to the pot. Continue to gently simmer the mixture for 1 hour.
Remove the remaining
chicken parts and strain the liquid through a fine meshed sieve. Bring the
liquid back to a simmer for another 20-30 minutes, or until the liquid has
reduced by about a quarter. This step will further deepen the broth’s flavor.
While the broth is simmering, shred the chicken meat and reserve for serving.
Once reduced, turn off the
heat and add the fish sauce or tamari to the broth. Taste, and add additional
seasoning if desired.
While the soup is simmering,
in a large bowl whisk together the matzo meal, salt, baking powder and baking
soda. Add the beaten egg and schmaltz/oil. Add the scallions. Mix everything
together until just combined. Do not over-mix. Refrigerate the mixture for at
least 30 minutes, and up to a day ahead.
Form the matzo ball mixture
into even-sized balls, you can determine the size based on your preference, but
know that they will double in size when cooked. It makes it easier to form the
matzo balls if you rub a little oil on your hands while forming them.
Bring a large pot of water
to a boil. Lower to a simmer and gently drop the matzo balls into simmering
water. Place the lid on the pot and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Once
cooked, matzo balls are best stored in their cooking liquid.
To serve the matzo ball
Add the shredded chicken, raw
sliced onion and scallion to a bowl. Ladle hot broth into the bowl. Add the
matzo balls to the soup.
Serve along with basil,
bean sprouts, lime wedges, hoisin, and hot sauces. Allow people to garnish and
customize their pho to their liking.
I used to be afraid of baking, especially bread
baking. I distanced myself from any recipe that required yeast or kneading. The
idea that baking is a science, only accessible to those with the innate ability
to understand that science and its nuances, discouraged me. I was never very
good at science. But as someone that loves Jewish food, I knew I wanted to
learn how to make homemade challah. The moment after I made my first challah I
wondered: “What took me so long?”
Once I got into challah-baking I couldn’t stop.
To my surprise, challah isn’t all that hard to make, the dough is very
forgiving, and it comes together relatively quickly. There’s no three-day
proofing required. I tried countless recipes, and decided I needed to develop
one that would make my own ideal loaf. I like my challah with a little chew,
not too yeast-flavored, not too sweet. Once I got a basic recipe down, it was
easy to start playing around with flavors and ingredients.
During the High Holy days, when entertaining and
round challahs abound, this recipe offers a celebratory animal-friendly
offering. I love being able to make dishes that any guest at my table can eat,
and it’s great to have an option for folks with plant-based diets. Vegan
challah is as easy to make as egg-based challah, and tastes just as good. In
these loaves, the maple replaces honey, and the fig and rosemary bring extra
sweetness and fall flavor into the mix. If you’re not feeling fig and rosemary,
you can easily skip out on either or both and still make a delicious vegan
If you’ve ever been curious about baking challah,
Rosh Hashanah is a great time to give it a go.
I can safely predict that your friends and family will be very happy you
Maple Fig Rosemary Challah
2 cups warm water (between 105°F-110°F, warm but
not too hot to the touch)
4½ teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
⅓ cup oil (olive, canola, sunflower)
¼ cup maple syrup (Grade B or Grade A dark amber)
Egg replacer mixture (see below)
7½ cups (1185 g) bread flour, plus more for
dusting and as needed
⅓ cup fig preserves or jam
⅓ cup roughly chopped rosemary, plus more for
2 tablespoons aluminum free baking powder
¼ cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
Start by adding the yeast and sugar to warm
water. Stir, and then allow the yeast to activate for 5 minutes or until it
looks thick and foamy at the top. If your yeast remains in clumps then it is
not properly activated.
In a small bowl combine the oil, maple syrup and
In a separate small bowl, make the egg replacer
mixture by combining the water, oil, and baking powder. The baking powder will
cause the mixture to fizz.
Once the yeast is activated, add the flour to a
large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Add the maple syrup mixture
and the egg replacer mixture to the well. Add the activated yeast with warm
water to the well. Begin to combine everything together, it is easiest to use
your hands. Once the mixture forms a ball, begin to knead the dough.
Knead until the dough is mostly smooth and
elastic, and doesn’t stick to your hands, about 5-7 minutes (and if it’s not perfectly smooth, don’t
worry, it will still work out). If you find the dough is too sticky, add
flour a few tablespoons at a time until the dough doesn’t excessively stick to
your hands as you knead. The amount of flour that is needed can often depend on
the weather, temperature, and the brand of flour.
Lightly grease a large bowl with oil, and then
place the dough in the greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp clean kitchen
towel, and allow the dough to rise in a warm (not drafty) part of the kitchen
for at least 1 hour or until the dough has about doubled in size. The rate at
which the dough rises will depend on the temperature of the kitchen.
After the dough has doubled in size, punch it
down. Lightly dust your work surface with flour, and transfer the dough onto
it. Divide the dough into two. Transfer half the dough back to the bowl and
cover while you’re braiding the first round of challah. For the High Holidays
it’s traditional to make round challahs, but the shape and number of strands is
up to you. I like to do a 4-strand round challah, and this demo video from Challah Hub is very
Divide the dough into 4 evenish-sized pieces, and
form and roll each piece out so that it is about 12”-14” long. Take one piece
and flatten it out a little so that it is a long rectangular shape. Spread 2
teaspoons of the fig preserves in an even thin layer over the dough. Sprinkle
with about 2 teaspoons of chopped rosemary. Press the sides together to seal
the fig and rosemary inside the dough. It can be a little messy or imperfect.
Finally, roll the sealed dough into a rope shape. Repeat with the remaining 3
pieces of dough.
Braid the challah into a round. Place the challah
on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a very lightly damp towel.
Repeat the braiding process for the second half of the dough. Allow the covered
braided loaves to rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small dish, combine the almond milk, maple
syrup, and oil. Brush each loaf of challah with the wash. Bake the challah
loaves for 30-40 minutes, or until the challah is a deep golden brown - exact
timing will depend on the size of your challah and your oven. Once baked and
still hot, brush a second time with the wash mixture. Transfer to a rack and
allow to cool.
Extra challah can be frozen, defrosted and