Matzo Brei with Lox, Eggs, and Onions

matzo brei lox eggs and onion

Here’s the thing about my Jewish childhood: I grew up eating lox, I grew up eating eggs, and I grew up eating onions (lots and lots of onions), but I didn’t grow up eating matzo brei. What can I say? It was a blindspot in my otherwise very Jewish upbringing. And it’s a shame because matzo brei — the Jewish version of migas, with matzo replacing the tortilla chips — is a wonderful way to stretch your scrambled eggs in the morning, to use up leftover matzo from Passover, and to turn both things into something that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Take, for example, this matzo brei with lox, eggs, and onions; a tribute to my dad’s favorite Jewish deli breakfast order. It’s a breakfast that anyone, Jewish or not, would have a hard time saying no to.

Onion Breath

I remember my grandmother used to say that people told her she had bad breath. She’d usually tell me this while we were eating at Bagelworks in Boca Raton where she would order her eggs with “extra raw red onion,” a regular addition to her meals.

So raw red onion takes me back to my childhood and breakfasts with grandma. But so does quickly caramelized yellow onion, which is different than the low-and-slow caramelization you do for French onion soup.

See how these are almost on the edge of black? And that they’re inconsistent, not at all homogeneously golden? These bring back memories of diner omelettes, of the almost acrid taste of onion on the outside of a bagel. These are the flavors we want in our matzo brei with lox, eggs, and onions.

How Do You Matzo Brei?

If matzo brei sounds complex, worry not! It’s as simple as this: you wet some matzo under a faucet, to get it slightly moist so it melds better with the eggs. Then you break it into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces directly into the skillet with the onions.

Some add the eggs and the matzo at the same time, but I enjoy this opportunity to meld the matzo with the onions and to get a little color on it with high heat. Also: if your matzo is unseasoned, it’s a good idea to season it here.

Bring on the Eggs, the Lox, the Dill

I actually got the idea to make matzo brei watching America’s Test Kitchen where they revealed their ratio: for three eggs, it’s two sheets of matzo. Because we were having company over when I made this, I upped the number of eggs to eight and the sheets of matzo to five. How’s that for SAT math? Maybe it’s not 100% accurate, but it worked. And once the eggs set up and all of the matzo was coated, I stirred in the smoked salmon (I couldn’t find lox at the farmer’s market) plus lots of chopped chives and dill.

Pretty, right?

To plate, I made a quick salad with winter lettuces (radicchio, endive, frissé), Cara Cara oranges, radishes, and fennel and served that alongside the matzo brei which I topped with labneh (sour cream or créme fraiche would work too) and more herbs.

This is a dish even my grandmother would love (hers would be sprinkled with red onions). Give it a try. And would it kill you to leave a nice comment if you like it? I never hear from you anymore.

matzo brei lox eggs and onion

Matzo Brei with Lox, Eggs, and Onions

My take on two classic Jewish dishes: a "LEO" (a classic Jewish deli breakfast order of lox, eggs, and onions) and a savory Matzo Brei.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Jewish
Keyword eggs, Jewish food, lox, matzo, onions
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 sheets plain matzo
  • 8 large eggs, whisked together until yellows and whites are mixed It's good to season the eggs with salt and pepper when you whisk them together
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces Nova lox or smoked salmon, chopped into small pieces You can use more or less based on what you have on hand and according to your taste
  • Lots of chopped dill and chives
  • Labneh or sour cream, for garnish


  • Start by melting the butter in a large, non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onion — don't season it yet — and crank the heat to high. Cook the onion, stirring every so often, until it gets deeply golden brown in spots, almost on the edge of burning. Turn off the heat and season with salt.
  • At the sink, run your matzo under cold tap water for twenty seconds or so, until damp. Bring it to the skillet with the onions and break the matzo into 1/2-inch or 1-inch pieces directly into the skillet. Crank the heat back to high and stir all around, coating the matzo in the butter and onions. Cook until the skillet starts sizzling and the matzo starts to take on a little color.
  • Pour the eggs directly on to the matzo and lower the heat to medium. With a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the eggs and matzo together just until the eggs are set. Off the heat, stir in the lox and most of the dill and chives. Taste here to adjust for seasoning.
  • To plate: spoon the matzo brei on to four plates and top each portion with a spoonful of labneh or sour cream. Garnish with the remaining herbs.

8 thoughts on “Matzo Brei with Lox, Eggs, and Onions”

  1. My family always put Miracle Whip on our lox and eggs with onion. I can’t eat it any other way many years later.

  2. i love everything about this piece, especially your grandma and her red onions. matzah brie is my number one comfort food. i have never thought of this mix. it’s really brilliant. i’m definitely going to whip this up later this week. thank you, adam and happy pesach.

      1. 5 stars
        just made it up for my 98 year old mum. it was easy and a brilliant blend of two perfect jewish dishes. (i soaked the matzah in egg first) i have a mouthful now while i write this. GREAT flavors. thank you for the idea, adam.

  3. The guilt trip really got me right back in answering to my grandma mode! I need to find some lox locally but will be adding this to my to-make recipe list. I’ve been making fried matzo with onions and everything bagel seasoning for awhile (occasionally with bacon and green onions added) but lox or smoked salmon would definitely take it up a notch.

  4. Making now ..doubled receipe for early morning church group…put in frig…plan to heat up in oven covered 250 for 20 mins..or so. .in morning…tasted it…it’s so good…I know they’ll enjoy it…sort of a Jewish quiche !

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