Potato Latkes

By Chef Max Straczek

This recipe allows you to observe the Hanukkah miracle, and indulge in crispy, fried potato pancakes...


15 min prep time

45 min cook time

Serves 4

Why we like it

Potato latkes fried in oil are most often served during the holiday of Hanukkah, which commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. According to tradition, a small amount of oil, only enough to last for one day, miraculously burned for eight days.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat them any other time of the year!

And for those how ask why potato latkes are served with an accompaniment of sour cream and/or applesauce?

That I can tell you in one word... “TRADITION!”

Fried potato pancakes bring a richness and savouriness to the table, which can be customarily balanced out with the tangy creaminess of sour cream, while the applesauce adds a touch of sweetness and provides a non-dairy option.

Ingredients

4 servings

Preparation Notes

Use russet potatoes because they fry up crisp and golden (which is what we’re looking for!!), and they have a light and fluffy texture (which we’re also looking for).

Squeezing out as much moisture as possible from the grated potatoes is crucial for achieving crispy latkes.
While the mixture might still seem wet, you'll be able to see how much excess water has been removed.

Adding wet ingredients to hot oil can cause splattering and prevent the latkes from crisping properly.
Remember, we're frying here, not steaming!

Making the recipe

  1. Step 1

    Grate

    • Peel the potatoes and discard the peels.
    • Using a box grater, (or a food processor to save time) grate the potatoes into a large bowl.
    • Trim off the skin and outer layers of the onion, and grate into the bowl.
    • Add a large pinch of salt and let sit for a few minutes to draw out some moisture.
    Next step
  2. Step 2

    Drain

    • Using either a clean tea towel, cheesecloth, or a metal sieve, squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the potatoes and onion.
    • Work quickly to avoid any oxidation.
    Next step
  3. Step 3

    Bind

    • Add the egg, flour and another pinch of salt to the mixture and combine.
    Next step
  4. Step 4

    Fry

    • Heat a large pan filled with a neutral oil over a medium-low heat.
    • Working in batches, use a ladle or ice cream scoop to portion each latke. Gently press to remove air pockets before carefully dropping them into the pan and flattening into thin patties.
    • Fry the latkes until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes, then flip with a spatula and repeat on the other side.
    Next step
  5. Step 5

    Serve

    • Once the latkes are golden brown on both sides, transfer to a plate or baking tray lined with paper towels.
    • Season with salte, and serve with sour cream and/or apple sauce, and b'teiavon!!