This latke recipe is simple and straightforward. I find myself returning to it each December. Hanukkah centers around oil based foods such as potato pancakes and doughnuts. I love my latkes crispy, but I have notes on how to make them more potato-ey if that’s your thing.
You can top these with whatever you like, most traditional would be sour cream or apple sauce. However, toppings are optional. You’ll be addicted to these latkes by themselves as well. If you want to step in up a notch like I do every year, top the latkes with my Caramelized French Onion Dip (essentially, sour cream with onions!). You will not be disappointed.
Notes on the ingredients:
- Russet Potatoes: These are the best kind of potatoes for potato pancakes. I don’t peel mine (no difference to taste or texture to me) but you absolutely can. Either way, make sure you wash the potatoes before preparing.
- Onion: Added here for flavor. You don’t need to measure this exactly.
- Eggs: These bind the latkes together. Start with one, and mix the ingredients. If you can form a pancake in your hand you won’t need a second egg.
- Flour or Matzah Meal: This also helps bind the pancake together. Matzo meal will add a little bit extra flavor, but not enough to need to go out of your way to buy some. Flour will work just fine.
- Oil: Hanukkah is a holiday centered around oil so of course we will be using oil in this recipe! Any high heat oil will do. Chicken fat, or “schmaltz” will add some flavor, but again not necessary to go out of your way for if not at your local grocery store.
Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
- 3 russet potatoes shredded *see note 1
- ½ white onion shredded
- 1-2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons flour or matzah meal
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- ½ cup neutral oil or schmaltz
- Sour cream, the Dip*, or apple sauce to serve
- Grate potatoes and onions using a food processor or box grater. No need to peel the potatoes. If you want the latkes more crispy, grate potatoes using the largest setting. If you like them more potato-ey, use a finer grate.
- Place grated potatoes and onions in a strainer over a large bowl. Leave for 5-10 minutes then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You can use a cheesecloth or kitchen towel here if you have one to really dry it out.
- Discard liquid, but keep the potato starch that falls to the bottom of the bowl. Add potato/onion mix back to the emptied bowl. Add one egg, matzah meal, salt and pepper together. Much easier to use your hands. Try forming a pancake with your hands and if it can’t hold together, add another egg.
- Heat canola oil or schmaltz on medium high heat and let pan heat up about 5 mins. You can test if the oil is ready by adding a pinch of potato into the oil. If it fries up then it’s ready.
- Form the latkes in your hands and place in pan with enough room to move around. Can be as thick or thin as you like. If you can draw out some more moisture at this stage, feel free to do so (especially if you want crisp latkes!)
- Exact Cook time varies based on size of latke. Flip when bottom is golden brown. My thinner ones take about 3 minutes each side. When the second side has browned, place the latkes on a paper towel over a plate. Enjoy with your desired toppings and happy Chanukah!
- If you want your latkes more potatoey, with a softer inside, grate using a finer setting. If you want your latkes more crispy with flakey edges, use the largest grating setting. Either method can be done using a box grater or a food processor.
- The “Dip” to serve is my Caramelized French Onion Dip