Whether you’re team applesauce or team sour cream, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Latkes are one of the most favorited foods to enjoy during the Hanukkah season. They’re salty, they’re crispy, and they’re absolutely delicious when topped with sour cream. Or applesauce. Or both!
To celebrate, I decided to whip up a potato latke recipe myself.
Why do we eat latkes on Hanukkah?
The beautiful story of Hanukkah is one that starts with oil. It sounds strange, but the miracle of light happened because of one night’s worth of oil burning in the temple for not one, not two, but eight nights. So while the potato latke is a traditional food served on Hanukkah, frying this potato pancake in oil is the true reason for celebrating Hanukkah with latkes.
So if you’re celebrating Hanukkah this year, or are partaking in this cultural tradition this holiday season, here’s how to make potato latkes right at home.
Potato Latkes Recipe
Makes 16 servings
2 lbs potatoes (about 4 potatoes)
1/2 onion, shredded
2 large eggs (3 medium eggs)
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
How to Make It
Cut the potatoes in half to shred
After rinsing off the potatoes, cut them in half lengthways. Cutting them in half makes it easier to put the potatoes through a food processor. Do not shred the potatoes! The skin is a nice added touch to the latkes. If you don’t have a food processor, you can buy a handheld grater and shred them by hand.
Repeat the same step for the 1/2 onion as well.
Squeeze shredded potatoes
Using a cheesecloth, squeeze out the extra liquid in the shredded potatoes into a smaller bowl. The potatoes may still have a little liquid after, that’s okay. Just try to squeeze out as much as you can. If you don’t have a cheesecloth, layer a few paper towels instead.
At the bottom of the bowl with the liquid, you’ll notice a white slurry sticking to the bottom. That’s the potato starch, which you will use! So don’t dump it out just yet.
Mix together ingredients with potato starch
Mix together the shredded potatoes, onions, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Remove the liquid in the smaller bowl and scoop out the potato starch with a rubber spatula, adding it to the larger bowl with all the ingredients. I find it easier to mix the latkes with my hands, just make sure to wash your hands first!
I used three eggs in this photo since I had medium eggs in the fridge. However, if you have large eggs, you’ll only need two.
Fry in canola oil
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. After 3 minutes when the skillet is fully heated, add the oil. Wait a few more minutes until the oil is hot.
When it’s ready, scoop out some of the latke mixture (about 1/4 cup per serving) into your hand. Form into patties. I found it easier to form them over the sink, squeezing out any excess moisture before adding the latke to the pan.
Cook each latke for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they are crispy and golden brown. Yes, this requires patience, take your time. Turning up the heat will only burn them and they won’t be as delicious! Once they are fully cooked, remove onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
Serve with sour cream and applesauce
The traditional toppings for latkes are sour cream and applesauce. While some are team sour cream or team applesauce, I’m a huge fan of mixing the two together!
The latkes are best when served warm, so if you can, serve them immediately.
Potato Latkes Full Recipe
- After rinsing off the potatoes, cut them in half lengthways. Do not shred the potatoes!
- Shred the potatoes and the 1/2 onion in a food processor, or with a handheld grater.
- Using a cheesecloth, squeeze out the extra liquid in the shredded potatoes into a smaller bowl. Get rid of the liquid, but keep the white potato starch at the bottom.
- In a large bowl, mix together the shredded potatoes, onions, eggs, breadcrumbs, potato starch, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Once heated (about 3 minutes) add some canola oil.
- When the oil is hot, scoop out some of the latke mixture (about 1/4 cup per serving) into your hand.
- Form into patties. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the patty in the sink before placing on the skillet.
- Let each latke cook for 5 minutes on each side. Do not turn up the heat! Be patient, trust me.
- Serve immediately with sour cream and applesauce.