Classic Potato Latkes

Every Jewish family has a favorite latke recipe to incorporate into their Hanukkah celebrations. Some are like them flat and lacy, while others are thick and chewy. Let’s be honest, we are talking about crispy fried potatoes here – how can they be bad?

This recipe is fairly easy to follow and results in a shatteringly crisp exterior and a creamy potato- and onion-packed middle. Great for first-time latke makers merely seeking a vehicle for applesauce and sour cream, or a latke-making expert. Perfect for Hanukkah – or any other time of year!

1 onion, minced 
4 medium potatoes, peeled 
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Kosher salt 
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon baking powder 
4 tablespoons flour (or matzo meal) 
Parsley, freshly chopped
Neutral oil for frying

Shred or finely dice the onions and place in a colander lined with cheesecloth. Grate the potatoes and add to onions in the colander. Shredding the onions first, and then adding the potatoes will keep the mixture from discoloring.

Allow the potatoes to drain while slowly heating about ¼” of oil to medium-high in a skillet. You want the oil to be hot but NOT smoking.

Squeeze out excess liquid from potato and onion shreds, then add eggs, salt, pepper, and flour. Let the mixture rest for at least 5 minutes so it absorbs some of the moisture from the vegetables. Add more flour if the mixture still seems too wet after 5 minutes. 

Drop a bit of the potato mixture into the heated oil - if it sizzles it is ready. Form your latkes in the palm of your hand with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture. When the edges of the latkes are brown and crispy, about 5 minutes, flip and cook until the second side is deeply browned, about another 5 minutes.

Drain the latkes on paper towels before sprinkling lightly with salt and chopped parsley. Serve with sour cream and applesauce for an authentic Jewish Hanukkah experience.