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We Tried 4 Vegan Matzo Ball Recipes and Here’s the Results

Rarely are the absence of eggs a hurdle in our world. Cakes and baked goods are fine without them as are pancakes and other treats. Even macaroons are well served with aquafaba. But oh those matzo balls. Try using a mix with your standard egg replacers and you’ll quickly discover they will disintegrate in the boiling water or soup.

Still we were determined. A few internet searches and we came up with three four recipes worth trying (the fourth was added recently and we’re glad we did!). As an aside, we were not even going to try any of them made with tofu, not just because they weren’t necessarily Passover-friendly. No, just no. It’s like blueberry bagels. Some things just don’t cut it and tofu matzo balls is one.

Our attempts included the PETA matzo ball recipe, the recipe posted on Tablet, (which includes aquafaba so may not be OK for all observant Passover celebrants), and the recipe from The Edgy Veg, which uses seltzer and a healthy amount of potato starch. Finally, we tried Nava Atlas’ version from her blog and Vegan Holiday Kitchen. There were others but really, how many can be tried at once.

The verdict? Both the PETA recipe and the Tablet recipe turned out balls that were flavorful, not too dense yet held together. The Edgy Veg recipe produced matzoh balls that looked the best (big and fluffy-looking), yet they were rubber balls that may have been edible as something (huge, dense gnocchi perhaps), just not anything I’d want to serve as matzo balls. It may have been trouble on our end however — maybe we over-mixed the potato starch, but who knows?

The real winner was Nava’s recipe that uses quinoa flakes. Even though they were baked, they tasted the most traditional. They were not too dense, held together in the soup and were good enough to serve to non-vegans.

A few tips in case you want to try your own with these recipes or anything similar (that is, not the tofu-based balls):

** Smaller is better. While we traditionally liked larger balls, the smaller ones were the least likely to be too chewy or hard in the center.

** Go light on the salt or skip the salted boiling water for the recipes that suggest boiling.

** Don’t leave them or cook them in your soup. They will fall apart a little so better to place in soup when ready to serve. You can also reheat once they are set without risk of them falling apart.

Would we make them again? Probably because sometimes, only a bowl of steaming matzoh ball soup fits. Enjoy.