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Homemade Latkes

Latkes are fried "pancakes" made of shredded potatoes and onions. They are eaten during Chanukah (also spelled Hanukkah), which is the Jewish Festival of Lights. Latkes are fried in oil to represent the miracle of the oil lasting for eight nights when the Jewish people in Israel were attacked by the Greeks. Latkes are not the only fried food enjoyed during the eight night of Chanukah, though; jelly-filled donuts are a great sweet treat often eaten during Chanukah! But of course, you don't have to be Jewish - and it doesn't have to be Chanukah - for anyone to make these tasty fried potato pancakes! These latkes are our family's classic recipe. The ingredients and instructions couldn't be easier, and the end product couldn't be tastier! Just don't forget the sour cream and homemade applesauce.

Makes 8-10 latkes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, quartered

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • Reserved potato starch 

  • Vegetable or canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Grate the potatoes and onion in a food processor with shredding blade attachment. Alternate onion and potato chunks to create and even mixture. In multiple batches, squeeze out the liquid into a bowl using strainer and a clean kitchen towel.

  2. Set aside the liquid. After a few minutes, the excess potato starch will settle to the bottom of the bowl. When it does, pour out the liquid and save the starch. There will be about 1 tablespoon of sticky, white potato starch.

  3. Place the strained, shredded potato and onion to a large bowl. Add in the eggs, kosher salt, all-purpose flour, pepper, and reserved potato starch. Mix well to combine.

  4. Into a large cast-iron skillet, add about 1/2 inch of vegetable or canola oil. Set the skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up.

  5. Scoop 1/4 cup of the latke mixture into the skillet. Press it into the shape of a latke. You should be able to fit 2-3 latkes in the skillet at once. Fry for 5-6 minutes on one side, or until golden brown and crisp. Flip carefully, and cook another 5-6 minutes. When they finish cooking, drain the excess oil on paper towels. 

  6. Repeat with remaining mixture until you have cooked all the latkes. You can serve immediately, or, for long-term storage, let the latkes fully cool on baking sheet lines with baking parchment. Then, freeze them on the trays until solid. Store the frozen latkes in a plastic zip-lock bag. 

  7. To reheat frozen latkes: bake on baking sheets lined with baking parchment for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius. 

  8. Enjoy the homemade latkes with lox, sour cream, or applesauce!

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