Potato Latkes are a classic Jewish recipe that involves frying shredded potato patties to crisped perfection. Top them with sour cream for an extra delicious treat!
Easy Potato Latkes
We go hard for Christmas time. So hard, my Christmas tree has been up since September, and I don’t know if I’ll be ready to take it down by January.
I still hold my childhood memories of every whimsical Christmas dear to my heart. Of course, there are a ton of food memories. Feast of the seven fishes was one of my favorite family gatherings.
In the Italian culture, feast of the seven fishes is a dinner composed of seven dishes made with fish. I was in 11th grade when I discovered a cuddle fish had made it’s way onto the table, and I was able to identify the beak in it since I had dissected one a week prior in school. Fun.
Another favorite memory is gathering around the frying pan trying to catch one of my mom’s amazing potato latkes right out of the pan. We’d toss a little salt on the potato latkes, add a dollop of sour cream, and go to town!
I am not sure I have met anyone who does not enjoy potatoes. I’ve met a few odd balls who don’t like bacon, but potatoes seems to be liked universally. These potatoe latkes are vegetarian, so you can really satisfy anyone with there!
Potato is shredded, onion is grated finely, then they are both strained and pressed to expel all the excess water. An egg, flour, pepper and salt is added, mixed, then formed into little patties and fried. When the potato latkes are done frying, they can be salted and topped with sour cream or apple sauce.
Apple sauce on potato latkes is a great way to get the sweet and savory flavor, although my favorite will always be the potato latkes with sour cream and chives.
These potato latkes can realistically be made within an hour, and that’s even giving a whole bunch of extra time for your oil to get to the right temperature. No worries, though! I’ve been making these potato latkes for years and have a few tricks to help you make the best latkes you’ve ever had!
Jewish Potato Latkes
Ingredients to make potato latkes
- Russet potatoes– the king of all potatoes! These are sturdy potatoes to cook with because their flavor and texture is durable and predictable.
- White onion– or yellow, whatever you have on hand. I cried like a baby, per usual, when I grated the onion by hand, but it’s a necessary step.. so don’t apply mascara beforehand.
- Flour– the potato latkes need a little binding to maintain their shape, so just a little flour goes a long way!
- Egg– again, binding these patties is necessary, so an egg is perfect for this!
- Salt and pepper– because everything needs a little salt and pepper.
- Frying oil– I used vegetable oil to keep it simple. In the past, I have opted for a healthier frying option like coconut oil, but this is a more expensive option.
- Sour cream– Potato latkes are insanely delicious when topped with sour cream. Trust me, put it on your grocery list!
- Apple sauce– Traditionally, the Jewish add apple sauce or sour cream to their potato latkes. The apple sauce adds a sweet and savory flavor to your latkes.
- Green onion– this ingredient isn’t necessary, but it’s delicious and adds some color and flavor to the potato latkes.
Tips to make the crispiest potato latkes
- Use chicken schmaltz or vegetable oil for frying. Traditionally, rendered chicken fat, also known as chicken schmaltz, is used to deep fry the potato latkes. Vegetable oil is a great substitute and can be found in virtually any grocery store.
- Get your oil just right. Let your deep frying oil heat up to between 350°F-375°F. My first batch is always my test batch to see how the oil is heating.
- Use the shredding disk on your food processor. After peeling the russet potatoes, run them through the shredding dish on the food processor for quick, easy potato shredding. The potato shreds will come out evenly and perfectly sized.
- Use russet potatoes. Russet potatoes are naturally a drier, more starchy potato, making them a perfect candidate for that crispy perfection we’re after!
- Use a cast iron pan. By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out how much I love my cast iron pan. The cast iron pan will heat evenly, allowing your oil to reach the perfect temperature.
Potato Latke Recipe
How to make potato latkes step by step
- Mise en place. This is french for “everything in place” and is a culinary term to start your set up right. Gather everything you will need, tools, ingredients, kitchen equipment, and a plan.
- Heat your oil in a cast iron pan. Add enough oil to reach about 1/2 inch. Heat your cast iron pan over medium heat and let it warm up for about ten minutes. You want your frying oil to sit between 350°F-375°F.
- Grate your onion and potatoes. You can use a box grater to grate your onion and potatoes, BUT I will tell you that it will certainly cause tears. Use a blender or the regular blade of the food processor and finely chop/puree the onion. Get the onion as finely chopped as possible. Put the shredding disk on the food processor. Skin the potatoes and run them through food processor.
- Drain the potatoes and onion. Use a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer and drain the starch water from the potatoes and water. Use your hands to squeeze the cheesecloth to get the potatoes/onion as dry as possible. If using a mesh wire strainer, press the potato mixture against the sides of the strainer using a rubber spatula.
- Mix the potato, onion, flour, egg, salt and pepper. Mix it well using your hands. You’re going to get your hands dirty in the next step, so you might as well get a head start
- Form the potato latke patties. Grab about 1/4 cup worth of potato latke mixture and make a small patties. Place only one in the frying oil and let it cook on each side for 3-5 minutes. The first one is always the tester to see how to oil is heating. Once you know how long each side will take to cook, make the rest of your potato latke patties and fry in batches.
- Place the potato latkes on a paper towel lined plate. This method allows the potato latkes to have some of the oil absorbed. After you run out of room, transition then to a cooling rack… or your mouth.. whichever you feel inclined to do.
- Top the potato latkes with sour cream or apple sauce. Whether you choose apple sauce or sour cream, you will be so satisfied with the crispy crunch of the latkes! I like mine topped with sour cream, chives, and more cracked pepper!
How to store potato latkes
In the fridge
Potato latkes can last in the fridge for up to three days. They contain egg, so three days is the maximum that I recommend refridgeration.
In the freezer
Store potato latkes in the freezer for up to 10 months. Lay the potato latkes in a single layer on parchment paper and freeze. Once they are frozen, place the latkes in a freezer safe, airtight container and freeze for up to 10 months.
How to reheat potato latkes
Heat your oven to 350°F and bake the refridgerated potato latkes for 10-15 minutes. If they are frozen, bake for 20 minutes.
What goes with potato latkes
I’m all about healthy comfort meals. Potato lakes are truly a Jewish classic comfort food. It’s enjoyed with loved ones during the holidays, so here are a few homey meals that would pair well with your new favorite potato recipe!
- White Wine and Herb Roasted Chicken is an easy meal that really is the heart of home cooking!
- Herb and Lemon Roasted Chicken is another classic chicken dinner that would pair deliciously with potato latkes!
- Baked Salmon with Cranberry Relish is an easy 20 minute dinner that will come together easily while you fry up some latkes!
- Chicken and Dumplings is a heart soup that potato latkes would taste scrumptious dipped in!
- 1 1/2 LB russet potatoes
- 1 white onion
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup flour
- pinch of salt and pepper
- vegetable oil
- sour cream
- apple sauce
- In a medium cast iron pan, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 350°-375°F.
- Peel the potatoes. Grate the potatoes using the shredding disk on a food processor. Use the regular blade on the food processor and finely chop the onion as small as you can.
- Place the potatoes and onion in a fine mesh wire strainer or cheese cloth. Strain as much excess water as you can. Squeeze the potato and onion mixture to make sure you squeeze as much water out as possible. This will ensure extra crispy potato latkes.
- Place the potato and onion mixture in a bowl. Add the egg, flour, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Form the potato latke patties into thin 2 inch patties.
- Gently place the patties in the frying oil and fry for 2-5 minutes per side. Flip and fry the other side.
- Remove the potato latkes from the frying oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Once the vegetable oil has been soaked up by the paper towel, move the latkes to a cooling rack and top with sour cream, apple sauce, or just a pinch of salt and pepper! Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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