Matzo. Four sheets. You can use onion matzos if you want. We wouldn’t, but you can. When we want to make onion matzo brei, we use onions.
Onions. Absolutely optional. (We never make onion matzo brei at home, but we sell a lot of it in the deli). Anyway, dice half of a medium onion for the four sheets of matzo.
Eggs. Four large.
Oil. A lot. We’ll talk about it later. Use plain vegetable oil. Soya and canola oil are good; so are corn oil and peanut oil, but these latter change the taste somewhat. Don't use butter or margarine, both will burn before the matzo brei can get crispy.
Salt. That’s right, to taste.
In a large skillet, heat about a � cup of the oil. On an electric range you’d set the dial to maybe 8 (out of a 10 position dial).
Find a large glass bowl or non-reactive metal pot. Break the sheets of matzo into quarters and stack in a pot or bowl deep enough to cover the matzo. Place a smaller bowl over the stack of quartered matzo sheets and set the whole deal under the kitchen faucet. Drawing cold water from the tap, let the water spill over the edge of the bowl and fill the pot. The bowl weighs down the matzo and keeps from floating over the edge of the pot and into the sink. Let the matzo stand in the cold water about 30 seconds. Then drain all the water from both the pot and the little bowl. The matzo should be crinkly damp on the outside and toward the edges, but still firm (although not crisp) in the middle and toward the center.
Break the eggs into the small bowl and remove any shells that fall in. Then drop the eggs into the pot or mixing bowl with the matzo and scramble them with a heavy fork. The matzo will break apart somewhat, but should remain in large pieces rather than crumble into dust or mush.
When the oil is hot, pour in egg and matzo mixture. Push the mixture around so that it fills the pan and is flat. Let it cook for a few minutes like that, being careful to not let it burn.
Now, make a choice. (1) If you want to make the matzo brei pancake style, use a wide stiff spatula to turn the mixture which has now cooked somewhat and is stiffer. You may have to cut the pancake in half or even quarters to turn it. Add another couple of tablespoons of oil at this point to replace the oil that has been absorbed into the matzo brei. (2) If you want to eat the matzo brei scrambled, take a wooden fork or spoon and begin to break up the pancake into smaller pieces, turning the pieces to cook the matzo brei evenly. Add another couple of tablespoons of oil at this point to replace that which has been absorbed into the matzo brei.
Continue to turn and add oil as necessary. The matzo brei is done when it achieves the degree of golden brown crispiness that you find satisfying. In the deli, that is the point at which it is crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. There should be little or no standing oil in the skillet when the matzo brei is done. Add salt to taste. Never, Never, Never! top with powdered sugar, pancake syrup, apple sauce, jelly, honey, or anything sweet.
If you want onion matzo brei. Put the chopped onions into a little hot oil prior to adding the matzo brei mixture. Let the onions become at least translucent and soft before adding the mixed eggs and matzo. Just before putting in the mixture, however, add oil to make it up to � cup. Then follow directions for either pancake style or scrambled.