Matzo Balls with Mushrooms and Jalapeños in Broth

Recipe by Pat Jinich   –   Journal Sentinel

  • Description:  Pati Jinich shares this recipe for her rendition of matzo ball soup with jalapeños and mushrooms adding heat to the broth. The soup can be made up to three days ahead, covered and refrigerated.Jinich writes: “My maternal grandmother used to season her matzo balls with nutmeg and a bit of parsley. I add a splash of toasted sesame oil, too. Her secret ingredient for making them fluffy was a dash of sparkling water.

    “She used mushrooms of all sorts in the soup, but she was moderate in her use of chiles. In honor of my late grandfather, who was obsessed with chiles, I add a lot more to this soup than she would have.”

  • Makes:  6 to 8 servings


1 cup matzo ball mix (or two 2-ounce packages)
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher or sea salt
4 large eggs
8 tablespoons canola or safflower oil (divided)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sparkling water
½ cup finely chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, finely chopped (seeded, if desired) or to taste
8 ounces white and/or baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
8 cups chicken broth (homemade or store-bought)


In a large bowl, combine matzo ball mix, parsley, nutmeg and ¾ teaspoon salt. In another small bowl, lightly beat eggs with 6 tablespoons canola oil and the sesame oil. Fold beaten eggs into matzo mixture with a rubber spatula. Add sparkling water and mix until well combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and chiles and cook, stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, until they have softened a bit. Stir in mushrooms and ¾ teaspoon salt, cover and steam mushrooms 6 to 8 minutes. Remove lid and cook uncovered until liquid in pot evaporates. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings.

When ready to cook the matzo balls, bring about 3 quarts salted water to a rolling boil in a large pot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and keep at a steady simmer. With wet hands, shape matzo ball mix into 1- to 1 ½-inch balls and gently drop them into the water. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, until the matzo balls are completely cooked and have puffed up. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the soup. Serve.

Note: The soup can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.

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