The Comforting Fusion of Matzo Ball Ramen

I hustled into Shalom Japan in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on a stormy Friday night. It was dimly lit inside and had all the ambience of a casual Japanese ramen joint. Inside the bathroom, there was an enlarged photo of a Levy’s Jewish Rye ad from the ’60s…

I hustled into Shalom Japan in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on a stormy Friday night. It was dimly lit inside and had all the ambience of a casual Japanese ramen joint. Inside the bathroom, there was an enlarged photo of a Levy’s Jewish Rye ad from the ’60s, which read “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy's real Jewish Rye” in large black letters, with a picture of a Japanese boy dressed in a white shirt and red tie holding his sandwich next to an open bag of Levy’s Jewish Rye.

There was only a handful of tables. I grabbed a seat at the bar with an open view of the kitchen to my right. A native New Yorker I had met in Berlin happened to be in town at the same time and joined me. I saw chefs Aaron Israel and Sawako Okochi busy at work and turned my attention to the menu, giving it a cursory glance. But we both already knew we were getting the matzo ball ramen soup. How could we not?

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Shannon Sarna Refers to Herself As A Pizza Bagel

I’m a pizza bagel (or a “matzo-rella” stick, depending on your preference), by which I mean I am Italian and Jewish—specifically, Sicilian and Eastern European Ashkenazi—which heavily influences everything I do in the kitchen. Italian- and Jewish-Ameri…

I’m a pizza bagel (or a “matzo-rella” stick, depending on your preference), by which I mean I am Italian and Jewish—specifically, Sicilian and Eastern European Ashkenazi—which heavily influences everything I do in the kitchen. Italian- and Jewish-Americans (and especially those of us from New York) have much in common: guilt, family, tradition, and of course, a passion for food.

While no food writer speaks for an entire culture, it’s important to note that “Jewish food” in particular is not a monolith. My family hails from Poland and Ukraine, which influences my palate and cooking style. And while many Americans are most familiar with Eastern European-inspired Jewish food, the Jewish people have lived in or been exiled to wide-ranging lands all over the world, including Syria, Tunisia, Lithuania, Yemen, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Iran, and Mexico—just to name a few. Much as I love matzo ball soup, pastrami sandwiches, and babka, there are so many other uniquely Jewish-American dishes, and stories, to tell.

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13 Celebratory Chicken Recipes for Rosh Hashanah

I grew up a Korean-American Presbyterian girl in New York’s lower Westchester county, in a town that was predominantly Irish and Italian-Catholic, but was also home to many Jewish-American families. I will always credit my best friend, Liz, who lived n…

I grew up a Korean-American Presbyterian girl in New York’s lower Westchester county, in a town that was predominantly Irish and Italian-Catholic, but was also home to many Jewish-American families. I will always credit my best friend, Liz, who lived next door, for being my gateway into a lifelong exposure of Jewish culture: lighting candles on Hanukkah; accompanying her to temple where we’d chase each other (instead of her going to class); cracking up over Mel Brooks movies on our sleepovers; her trying to teach me to read Hebrew; and how my first teaching job out of college was at a Hassidic preschool in Stamford, Connecticut.

As Morah Caroline, I taught children how to make challah, led brachas before meals, and kept Kosher in my professional life (while downing non-kosher everythings at her nearby apartment after work). The memories of being an “honorary member” of a Jewish family remain truly some of my happiest, and still make for the best times as an adult, right down to having a hora at my Korean-Presbyterian-Taiwanese-Colombian-Catholic wedding!

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12 Questions About Schmaltz With Jake Cohen

Jake Cohen’s debut cookbook, Jew-ish, has the challah and latkes and matzo ball soup. But it also has biscuits with pastrami and milk gravy, kugel-ified mac and cheese, and pumpkin-spice babka. Which is to say, it’s Jewish but it’s also, well, Jew-ish—…

Jake Cohen’s debut cookbook, Jew-ish, has the challah and latkes and matzo ball soup. But it also has biscuits with pastrami and milk gravy, kugel-ified mac and cheese, and pumpkin-spice babka. Which is to say, it’s Jewish but it’s also, well, Jew-ish—a refreshingly personal take on how traditional recipes fit into messy modern life.

“I get very heated about steering away from my family’s tradition when it comes to many Jewish foods (just wait until you read my thoughts on brisket!),” Jake writes in the introduction. “But at the end of the day, we must celebrate any form of Jewish culture, old or new.”

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Our New Favorite Charoset is from the Biggest Jewish Deli in Texas

Every year, in the days leading up to Passover, Ziggy Gruber makes up to 1,500 pounds of charoset. For comparison, my mom will make no more than a pound of the chopped fruit and nut mix, and there will be some left over. But when has Gruber ever done a…

Every year, in the days leading up to Passover, Ziggy Gruber makes up to 1,500 pounds of charoset. For comparison, my mom will make no more than a pound of the chopped fruit and nut mix, and there will be some left over. But when has Gruber ever done anything on a small scale?

David, who goes by Ziggy, is a third-generation deli man. His grandfather, Max, arrived in New York via Budapest at the turn of the century. He found work in delis across the city until 1927 when he opened his own, the Rialto Deli, with his brothers-in-law. The Rialto, they claim, was the first deli to open its doors on Broadway, just two years before the start of the Great Depression. Amidst the anguish of the era, the Rialto thrived, serving the likes of Ethel Merman and the Marx brothers. All three of them. Decades later, Ziggy’s father opened his own deli, on Madison Avenue and called it Genard’s. Once Ziggy came around, the family had moved, shuttered its prospects in the city, and opened a deli in decidedly quieter Spring Valley, New York.

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marbled cheesecake hamantaschen

It’s almost too on-the-nose that I tried to make hamantaschen cookies that look like carrara marble and actually made cookies that evoke cow hides. Is the universe trying to tell me something about my kitchen hopes and dreams? Don’…

It’s almost too on-the-nose that I tried to make hamantaschen cookies that look like carrara marble and actually made cookies that evoke cow hides. Is the universe trying to tell me something about my kitchen hopes and dreams? Don’t worry, I’ve chosen to not read into this at all.

what you'll needalternate dough in blobssmoosh itmarbled doughcut shapescut circlesadd fillingform triangles

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Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup
This easy Matzo Ball Soup features tender poached matzo balls floating in a bowl of warm soup made from chicken stock and carrots. Make this classic comfort food for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, or to warm your soul any day of the year; it&…

A warm bowl of matzo ball soup on a yellow plate with a silver spoon in the bowl topped with parsley.

Matzo Ball Soup

This easy Matzo Ball Soup features tender poached matzo balls floating in a bowl of warm soup made from chicken stock and carrots. Make this classic comfort food for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, or to warm your soul any day of the year; it’s a wonderful weeknight soup recipe! Years ago, after a trip to Florida […]

READ: Matzo Ball Soup

bialy babka

Completely randomly — an idea just fluttered down like a November leaf and landed on this patch of calendar, the day before the day in which all of the time we do not spend on a line to vote we will instead spend glued to election return…

bialy babka

Completely randomly — an idea just fluttered down like a November leaf and landed on this patch of calendar, the day before the day in which all of the time we do not spend on a line to vote we will instead spend glued to election returns and trying not to bite our nails down to the nub — I’ve been thinking about the kind of cooking we do when tensions are high and a little distraction might be the height of self-care. May I recommend some extended time in the kitchen? Stirring a pot, kneading a dough, and reading a recipe forces us to briefly pause our scrolling and invest in something tangible, like a cozy meal. Lasagna with fresh pasta sheets! Peerless chicken noodle soup. A really luxurious Caesar salad. Pot pies. Wildly decadent macaroni-and-cheese. Falafel, from scratch. The highest calling of tomato soup and grilled cheese.

what you'll needmake your doughstretchy doughchop your onions

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tangy braised chickpeas

One of my most core cooking beliefs, cemented over 15 vegetarian years (that ended shortly before this site began) is that most, or at minimum, half of what we think we like about eating meat has absolutely nothing to do with meat, but the way…

One of my most core cooking beliefs, cemented over 15 vegetarian years (that ended shortly before this site began) is that most, or at minimum, half of what we think we like about eating meat has absolutely nothing to do with meat, but the way it’s prepared, from the salt-pepper char on a steak to the layers of flavors in a long braise. It’s this logic that led me to mushroom bourguignon and pate and even pizza beans, where the beans take the place of meat and pasta in a ziti-like dish. And it’s what led me to drop my jaw at the brilliance of Molly Yeh’s 2018 “brisket-braised chickpeas” (cozy braised chickpeas with squash), a brisket-free, vegan dish that uses the flavors you’d put in your favorite brisket braise but with chickpeas and vegetables. My sister had recently gone vegan, and the timing was perfect for our new year meal.

what you'll needcook the onionsadd the mushroomsadd broth

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46 Celebratory Recipes to Make for Rosh Hashanah This Year

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to reflect on the past year—and look forward to the coming one.

The holiday’s celebratory meal can include favorites like yeasty challah, matzo ball soup, and apples dipped in honey. What do these things h…

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to reflect on the past year—and look forward to the coming one.

The holiday's celebratory meal can include favorites like yeasty challah, matzo ball soup, and apples dipped in honey. What do these things have in common? Their friendly circular shape, which symbolizes the ongoing nature of time, the round-and-round-ness of the year. Similarly, sweet foods are favored for a sweet new year.

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