I realized I wasn’t even sure how to write a recipe for matzo brei because for almost three decades I’ve never followed one. I blindly wrote how I make mine then spot checked recipes in a few of my cookbooks to see if my matzo brei was legit. It’s actually squarely in the ballpark of what is considered classic matzo brei. Phew, otherwise I’ve been making it wrong all these years!
Looking through a dozen or so Jewish cookbooks, it appears matzo brei recipes run the gamut from basically fried egg and matzo to a more complicated sweet pancake with eggs separated to make it lighter. Mine is a fairly simple sweet version highlighting the cinnamon sugar by sprinkling it on after cooking with a small amount in the matzo brei to add a bit of caramelized goodness to the matzo brei.
Matzo brei means fried matzo in Hebrew, but I would describe it more as a heavenly matzo french toast scrambled egg mash-up. Seek out egg matzo to make the dish more eggy rich and you’ll forget you’re eating matzo for days on end.
The method is a bit of a strange process of pouring hot water over broken matzo, draining it then adding to scrambled eggs.
Cinnamon Sugar Matzo Brei
Serves four unless you have a teenage boy, then it serves two.
4 Tbs sweet unsalted butter
4 sheets egg matzo
4 large eggs (use eggs fresh from the farm for an even richer dish!)
pinch unsalted kosher salt
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
generous ¼ cup cinnamon sugar (made by mixing ¼ cup sugar with 1 Tbs cinnamon)
- With your hands, break matzo into rough 2″ square pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour enough hot water over matzo to cover and gently rotate bowl to make sure all matzo is covered. Count to 25 and drain matzo in colander.
- In medium bowl mix eggs, salt, 1 Tbs of cinnamon sugar and vanilla. Add drained matzo and gently mix to combine. Some of the matzo will break. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes so matzo can absorb the egg a bit.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat melt butter. Add egg matzo mixture and cook until bottom sets, about a minute. Gently stir and break up egg. Repeat letting matzo set then stirring until pieces of matzo are golden brown and eggs are still slightly soft. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from pan and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over matzo brei. Mix lightly.
- Serve and enjoy!
My New England roots couldn’t let me write a recipe for matzo brei without offering up the option of omitting the cinnamon sugar and generously pouring ¼ cup maple syrup over the matzo brei! Another favorite option is omitting the cinnamon sugar and mixing in 3 Tablespoons of whatever homemade jam is in my freezer to the cooked matzo brei. Marmalade is particularly good!