Traditional Latke Recipe

The Eastern European fried potato pancakes, also known as latkes, are one of the most recognizable foods from Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine. Crispy and golden, they're festive, fun to eat, and — let's face it — borderline addictive. The great news is that it doesn't have to be Hannukah, and you certainly don't have to identify as Jewish to enjoy these crackly fritters.

Like all homestyle dishes, no two latke recipes are the same. Some are super crunchy, like developer Alexandra Shytsman's recipe, with a starchier mouthfeel and irregular edges. Others are more pancake-like, with a larger proportion of egg in the batter; these have a softer, more pliable texture. One thing is for sure: no matter what type of latke you prefer, a food processor (fitted with the shredding attachment) makes the job exponentially faster and easier. It's the one tool we'd never make these latkes without!

Gather the ingredients for traditional latkes

To make traditional latkes, you'll need some russet potatoes, an onion, an egg, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, and frying oil.

Grate the potatoes and onion

Using a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment (or the large holes of a box grater), shred the potatoes and onion. Make sure to work quickly to prevent the potatoes from oxidizing (turning pink-ish beige).

Wring out the vegetables

Since you want your latkes to be super crispy, you need to eliminate as much moisture as possible from the vegetables. To do this, transfer the veg to a clean kitchen towel, gather the edges, and squeeze to wring out the liquid.

Make the latke batter

Put the shredded potatoes and onion in a large bowl, and finish the batter by stirring in the flour, egg, salt, and pepper.

Fry the latkes

Get a large, high-sided saucepan and heat about ¼-inch of oil over medium heat. Before adding batter, test the temperature by dropping one piece of potato in the oil. If it floats and starts sizzling, the oil is hot enough; if it sinks, continue heating the oil and increase the heat if needed.

Use a tablespoon to scoop the batter into the oil — be gentle when adding the batter to the pan to avoid any splatters. Cook until the undersides are golden, about 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Avoid flipping the latkes more than once. After frying, transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined tray to drain excess oil. If you don't plan on eating them right away, transfer to a wire rack and keep in a low temperature oven (200 F) until ready to serve.

Serve and enjoy your traditional latkes

Latkes are a great side dish to almost any main course! They're also delicious by themselves, with sour cream, and/or with applesauce. Serve them as breakfast, as a side dish with dinner, or enjoy them as a snack.

Traditional Latke Recipe
5 from 9 ratings
If you love crispy potatoes, then you'll want to give this traditional latke recipe a try.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
16
latkes
latkes with sour cream
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup canola
Optional Ingredients
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Applesauce, for serving
Directions
  1. Using a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment (or the large holes of a box grater), shred the potatoes and onion. Work quickly to prevent the potatoes from oxidizing.
  2. Immediately transfer vegetables to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Transfer the potatoes and onion to a large bowl and add the flour, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Before adding the batter, test the temperature by dropping one piece of potato in the oil. If it floats and starts sizzling, the oil is hot enough; if it sinks, continue heating the oil and increase the heat if needed.
  5. Scoop the batter with a tablespoon and gently push off with your finger into the saucepan. Cook the latkes in a single layer until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Transfer the finished latkes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain excess oil. Continue cooking the rest of the batter.
  6. Serve immediately, optionally with sour cream or applesauce.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 104
Total Fat 7.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 11.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 0.5 g
Sodium 79.4 mg
Protein 1.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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