These Potato Latkes are a delicious recipe to make for celebrating Hanukkah or just because.
When I was in college, I worked at a Jewish elementary school for a couple of years. I’m not Jewish myself, but I did have the opportunity to learn about a lot of the Jewish traditions and foods associated with them. I ate a lot of challah bread and sampled many potato latkes too.
- matzo meal
- freshly ground black pepper
- peanut oil
- sour cream and applesauce, for serving
How to make Potato Latkes:
Grate the potatoes and onion together in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate them both by hand. The juices from the onion will help prevent the potatoes from turning brown. Transfer the grated onion/potato to a clean dish towel, wrap it up and squeeze the liquid from the mixture. Squeeze hard to get it all out!
Put the squeezed-dry onion-potato mixture in a bowl. Stir in eggs, matzo meal, salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a pan. Add a small amount of the onion/potato mixture to the pan and fry it on both sides to test out the temperature of the oil. You want it to be golden brown on both sides.
Fry the latkes by adding 1/2 cup of the mixture to the pan shaped in pancake form. They will need to fry for about 5 minutes on each side to be nice and golden brown and cooked through.
One tip to keep in mind as you’re forming the latkes is that the leftover liquid is going to accumulate on the bottom of the bowl. So as you get to the last of the potato mixture, just give each batch a squeeze so you’re not bringing extra liquid into the pan.
What do you serve with latkes?
You can eat potato latkes on their own. But they’re especially good with a little sour cream or applesauce. Chives are good on top too.
Here are a few more potato recipes you might like to try:
- Hasselback Potatoes
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Air Fried Buttery Steakhouse Potatoes
- Lemon Salt-Roasted Potatoes
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- 4 medium to large (2 pounds) Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled
- 2 large (¾ pound) yellow onions
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup matzo meal
- 2 teaspoons salt (more or less, to taste)
- 10 to 15 grinds freshly ground black pepper (more or less, to taste)
- ¾ cup peanut oil
- applesauce and/or sour cream and chives, for serving (optional)
- Using the medium shredding blade of a food processor, grate the potatoes, laying them horizontally in the feed tube to maximize the strand length. Grate the onions (halve or quarter them first) on top of the potatoes. The onions will turn to mush, and their juices will help keep the potatoes from turning brown. Pick out any un-grated pieces of potato or onion.
- Lay a clean dishtowel inside a large bowl and transfer the grated mixture into the towel. Roll the towel lengthwise and wring out as much liquid as possible (you can do this over the bowl, discarding the liquid, or right over the sink). Depending on the size of the towel (and your muscles), you may have to do this in batches.
- Transfer the grated mixture to a mixing bowl. Add eggs, matzo, salt and pepper; mix well.
- In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet, pour about ⅛-inch of oil and heat on medium high. The oil is hot enough when a piece of potato sizzles when added. Form a trial latke with a tablespoon of the mixture. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Taste and, if needed, add salt and pepper to the potato mixture.
- To form the latkes, scoop up about ½ cup of the mixture with your hands and loosely pat it into a pancake about ½-inch thick, leaving a few straggly strands along the edge. (As you work, liquid will accumulate in the bowl, so lightly squeeze out the excess. The last couple of latkes may need a really firm squeeze.) After shaping each latke, slip it into the hot oil and flatten it gently with the back of a spatula. Fry until deep golden brown, at least 5 minutes on each side to be sure the center is fully cooked. If the edges darken very quickly, lower the heat. To prevent excess oil absorption, flip each latke only once. Add oil between batches as needed, making sure the oil heats up again before frying more latkes. Drain the latkes on paper towels or a clean brown paper bag.
- Serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream.
- *Matzo meal is found in the Jewish section of your regular grocery store.
- *Without a food processor? Not to worry- you can grate the potatoes on the largest holes of a box grater. Hold the potatoes vertically to get longer strands.
- *Latkes are best served right away, but you can reheat leftovers in a 300 degree oven. Set the latkes directly on the oven rack and bake until hot, 8 to 10 minutes.