The origin of latkes
Memories of making latkes
I have never wavered from my family’s latkes recipe. They are, hands down, the best latkes I’ve ever had.
The only thing I’ve changed is the oil that I fry in. I find that using vegetable oil instead of peanut oil yields a lighter, more golden-colored latke. Everything else is the same as what generations before me have done.
What is in this latkes recipe
There are just a few ingredients that go into making the perfect latke. The key is in the amounts that you use. Here is what you’ll need:
- russet potatoes
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
Other recipes may tell you that you need eggs to bind the latkes. Don’t listen.
This recipe uses the ratio of one onion + one tablespoon of flour for every four potatoes. The salt and pepper measurements or more of a suggestion. I love salt, so I sometimes use more than the recipe calls for. You’ll find what works for you and your people.
How to make latkes
You’ll grate the potatoes and onions together. There will be some liquid in the bowl, and don’t even worry about draining it. (Other recipes may tell you to drain the liquid. Don’t listen). Stir in the flour, salt and pepper, and you’re ready to fry!
Watch your latkes closely while they’re frying. When they get nice and golden and crispy around the edges, that’s when you’ll know to flip them. Like any other kind of pancake, these Jewish potato pancakes get better with practice.
What are the best potatoes for making latkes?
Plain old russet potatoes are the best potatoes for making latkes. Not only are they starchy, but they’re relatively dry, as compared to a creamier kind of potato like a Yukon gold. We need crispy here, my people! Russets are the right answer.
Latkes vs. Potato Pancakes
Aren’t they the same? Well, yes. And no. The term “potato pancake” is a broader term that can involve using either raw or pre-cooked (even mashed) potatoes and often call for more fillers and binders like breadcrumbs and eggs.
Latke recipes use raw, grated potatoes and very little filler.
So, all latkes are potato pancakes but not all potato pancakes are latkes.
Latkes vs. Hashbrowns
Hashbrowns are basically shredded potatoes in their loose form. Latkes are shredded potatoes that have been formed into a pancake and fried. Very similar, but not exactly the same.
How to serve Classic Potato Latkes
Latkes can be served alone or as a side dish for a main meal. On Hannukah, I serve them as a side dish for roasted chicken and Broccoli and Cheddar Bake.
When you make this Latkes Recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more traditional Jewish recipes, try these:
For more potato recipes, try these:
- Potatoes Au Gratin with Corn & Gruyere
- Everything-Spiced Sweet Potato Fries
- Loaded Mini Hasselback Potatoes
Latkes Recipe (Jewish Potato Pancakes)
- 8 russet potatoes
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 quart vegetable oil
- Peel potatoes and onions and grate, using the large holes of a box grater or the grater attachment of a food processor. Place grated potatoes and onions in a large bowl. Add flour, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Heat 3/4 inch of oil over medium heat in a deep, wide skillet. There should be enough oil in the pan so that the latkes can float.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer 3-4 tbsp. of potato mixture into the pan and use your spoon to gently shape and flatten the pancake. Once the edges start to turn golden brown and latke releases from the bottom of the pan, its time to flip it over. Allow both sides to reach a golden brown color and remove with a slotted spoon.
- Place latkes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Serve with your condiments of choice.
Tobi Grant says
Robin Aanensen says
Dang I’ll try these. I make my potato pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes but these sound way better!
Yes! You’re going to love these!