Harvey Milk’s Special Pancake

When I was a kid, we often visited my maternal grandparents for Passover. And one of the best things my grandmother made was Matzah Meal pancakes. They are soft, savory and all round delightful. The official name for them is Bubaleh, not to be confused with Bubbele (which is an affectionate term that means literally ‘little grandmother’ from the Russian babushka).

 Matzah meal pancakes was Harvey’s signature dish, part of his courting behavior. One of the great travesties is that the Harvey Milk opera refers instead to matzo brei. Matzo brei is nothing like Bubaleh. It’s soggy matzah in eggs, also eaten on Passover, and even a huge dropping of cinnamon sugar cannot save this dish.

This pancake is also featured in Harvey Milk and Alan Turing’s Afterlife Love Story, FOR THE LOVE OF ALAN TURING

So if you would like to try your hand at Harvey’s favorite here’s a recipe courtesy of  Tori Avey.


    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp matzo meal
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder (for Passover use a kosher for Passover-certified brand)
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray or vegetable oil to grease the pan


  • Nonstick skillet or griddle
Get Ingredients
Total Time: 5 Minutes

Servings: 1

Kosher Key: Pareve
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the matzo meal, egg, sugar and baking powder until a yellow batter forms. Make sure the ingredients are well mixed.
    • image: http://toriavey.com/images/2013/03/Bubaleh-1-640×480.jpgLightly grease a nonstick skillet; I recommend a medium or large skillet because the bubaleh will be easier to turn. Heat over medium till a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Pour the batter onto the hot skillet, forming a large circular pancake.
    • image: http://toriavey.com/images/2013/03/Bubaleh-2-640×480.jpgLet the bubeleh cook for about 2 minutes till bubbles rise and pop on the surface of the batter and the bottom is golden brown. Flip the bubaleh and continue cooking for another 2 minutes or so, till the bubaleh is cooked through and golden on both sides.

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