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Matzo Ball Soup a la Mexicana (Matzo Ball Soup With Serrano Chile)


For the stock:

  • 1 whole chicken, approximately 5 to 6 pounds
  • 1 ½ medium white onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 serrano chile, sliced from tip to stem end with seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 stems cilantro
  • 1 leek, split lengthwise and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 5 to 6 white peppercorns
  • 4 quarts water
  • sea salt to taste

For the matzoh balls:

  • 1 ¼  cups matzoh meal
  • 2 ½  teaspoons kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½  teaspoon baking powder
  • ½  teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 large eggs, 3 separated
  • ¼  cup schmaltz, bone marrow or vegetable oil
  • ¼  cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable

For serving

  • 1 small one onion, finely chopped
  • 2 serrano or 1 jalapeño chile, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 to 2 avocados, diced
  • 3 to 4 limes, cut in wedges
Cooking ProjectsSoups & StewsPassover Meat North America


  • Step 1

    For the stock:
    Place all of the ingredients, except salt, into a large stock pot with enough water to cover chicken, and bring to a boil. 

  • Step 2

    Reduce the heat to medium-low, skim off any foam, add salt, and simmer, partially covered, for about 45 to 50 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked (tender and falling off the bone).

  • Step 3

    Carefully remove the chicken from the broth and transfer to a bowl. Continue cooking the broth at a soft boil for 20 minutes or up to 2 hours to extract as much flavor as possible. Turn off the heat and let cool.

  • Step 4

    Remove the skin and bones from the chicken. Shred the chicken and reserve for later.

  • Step 5

    Strain broth through a fine sieve into a separate container, discarding solids.

  • Step 6

    For the matzoh balls:
    In a large bowl, combine the matzoh meal, salt, pepper, baking powder and baking soda.

  • Step 7

    In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 whole eggs with the 3 yolks, schmaltz and onion. 

  • Step 8

    In a separate bowl, beat the 3 egg whites by hand or with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form. 

  • Step 9

    Stir the schmaltz mixture into the dry ingredients, then stir in one-third of the beaten egg whites until incorporated. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until no streaks remain.

  • Step 10

    Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter and refrigerate for about 20 minutes or overnight, until firm.

  • Step 11

    To assemble & serve:
    Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. In a small bowl, combine the vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of water. Scoop 1-tablespoon-size mound of the matzoh batter onto the baking sheet. Using the oil-and-water mixture to keep your hands moist, roll each scoop of batter into a ball, handling them as gently as possible.

  • Step 12

    Return the chicken stock to a clean pot and heat to a simmer. Lower the matzoh balls as gently as possible into the broth and cook over medium heat, turning the matzoh balls a few times, until they are plump and cooked through, about 25 minutes. 

  • Step 13

    Stir the shredded chicken into the soup and cook just until the meat is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, with garnishes on the side for people to add as preferred.