I finally created the perfect potato pancake. After years of experimenting with different potatoes, onions, flours and oils, I have come up with the one and only recipe you’ll ever need for Hanukkah latkes. Traditional latkes call for matzoh meal, which I find to make the pancakes soggy and onions, which is overpowering to both my kitchen and my stomach. Ditch the onions, matzoh meal and vegetable oil and try my small changes to make the crispiest, lightest and absolutely delicious latkes for your Hanukkah feast.
Traditional Potato Latkes – Perfected
- 3 cups Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 large pasture-raised egg
- a generous splash of water
- 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons coarse cornmeal
- Generous sprinkling salt
- Canola oil for frying
- Sour cream, chives and applesauce for dipping
- Peel the potatoes, then grate them by hand or through a processor and place in a colander. Rinse with cold water, then sprinkle with salt, toss and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Squeeze out all the water you possibly can.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat egg and splash of water until completely combined, then add potatoes and mix gently. Sprinkle flour and a pinch of salt and pepper. The mixture is already salted from the potatoes, so you won’t need much more. Mix again gently or until flour is incorporated.
- Heat a frying pan (preferably a cast-iron skillet) filled with a quarter of a cup of canola oil, to medium heat. Once oil starts to wave, add dollops of the potato mixture, patting down into a pancake shape (about a heaping silver dollar size). You want your pancake as thin as possible so they cook quickly and edges become crunchy.
- Fry for a couple minutes or until edges are light brown. Flip, fry until golden then drain on paper towels or cookie rack.
- Sprinkle with a little more salt and serve alongside applesauce and sour cream.
Hanukkah Latke Variations
Root Vegetables: Substitute 1.5 cups of the grated potatoes with julienne root vegetables (I used the frozen ones from Trader Joe’s which includes red beets, purple carrots and parsnips) But fresh parsnip alone adds a crunchy, slightly spicy punch.
Zucchini: Substutite 1.5 cups of potatoes for shredded zucchini. Just like potatoes, zucchini retain a lot of water. So after grating, place in a colander, sprinkle with salt then squeeze heartily after allowing to sit for several minutes.
Sweet Potato And Carrot: Substitute 2 cups of potatoes with a cup each of grated sweet potatoes and carrots. These might be my favorite, as the sweet potatoes caramelize and the carrots add great crunch!