Vegan Matzo Brei with Sweet and Savory Variations

by Nava Atlas
Brown vegan matzo brei served on a square white plate, surrounded by a silver fork, blue napkin, black bowl of red jam, and square sheets of matzah.

Matzo brei is a kind of flat omelet that’s a classic breakfast during Passover week and beyond. This recipe will show you how to make a vegan matzo brei, without the customary eggs. It’s easiest to make this one serving at a time in a small skillet; for more servings, repeat the recipe as needed. Basically, matzo brei consists of broken matzah that’s softened with hot water, then mixed with scrambled egg and fried. Not exactly your powerhouse breakfast — after all, matzah isn’t exactly a super food — it’s one of those Eastern European specialties that’s suffused with nostalgia. Here we replace the egg, easily and cleverly! A trio of egg substitutes: I give you three choices for the egg substitute that will hold the matzo brei together. Two of the options—oats (which are hametz) and garbanzo (chickpea) flour (legumes are kitniyot) are ingredients that aren’t allowable foods during the Passover week for those who adhere strictly. Sephardic tradition still allows legumes and some other kitniyot during Passover week. Some Ashkenazi traditions have started to allow kitniyot, too. If you’re fine with that, go ahead and try this with garbanzo flour. Quinoa flakes, as a derivative of the relatively recently allowable food, quinoa, is the most Passover-friendly option. That’s my favorite “glue” for my Vegan Matzah Balls. If you adhere to Passover food rules, you can always wait until after the holiday week to make matzo brei. Like most everyone else who celebrates, you’ll likely have plenty of leftover matzah to use up. Make sure to explore the variations: Often, matzo brei is enjoyed just as is; straight from the pan, lightly salted. Incorporating a little bit of fruit into the batter (banana, apple, or pear) into the batter is a lovely touch; you can also make it savory with baby spinach or other baby greens and/or fresh herbs.


Ingredients

1 + ½ matzah crackers, crumbled
¼ cup quinoa flakes or oatmeal, or 2 tablespoons chickpea / garbanzo bean flour
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vegan butter
Maple syrup or fruit preserves for serving, optional
Sweet or savory variations (see Notes)


Instructions
  1. Start heating a 7- or 8-inch nonstick skillet right away, as it’s best for it to be very hot when the pouring in the matzah mixture.
  2. Combine the crumbled matzah crackers and quinoa flakes or oatmeal or garbanzo flour and a pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over them and stir together. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Melt the vegan butter in the skillet. Once it’s sizzling, pour in the matzah mixture and pat in evenly. Cover and cook over medium-high until the bottom is golden brown and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Slide the matzo brei out onto a plate about the same size as the skillet. Holding the bottom of the plate with one hand, invert the skillet over the plate with the other and then flip right side up quickly. Cook the other side of the matzo brei until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes longer.
  5. Slide onto a a serving plate. Serve at once with the optional maple syrup or preserves (unless you’ve made the savory variation), or sprinkle additional salt over the top.

Notes
  1. For a sweet variation: Add ¼ to cup sliced banana, 1 tablespoon maple syrup and a generous pinch of cinnamon after allowing the matzah mixture to stand in step 2. Stir in and proceed with the recipe.
  2. For a savory variation: Add ½ cup finely chopped baby spinach and/or 2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parley, plus a thinly sliced scallion or two, after allowing the matzah mixture to stand in step 2. Stir in and proceed with the recipe.
  3. Find more of Nava’s recipes at The Vegan Atlas on Facebook and Instagram.

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