It took years of trial and error, but I now have a completely foolproof recipe for perfect latkes!
Golden brown and crispy on the outside, tender and savory on the inside, they're so good, I make them not just for Hanukkah.
While potatoes are not something that I would eat every day, I do make this traditional recipe for Hanukkah. We all partake - the kids a bit more, my husband and I just one or two. After all, it's a beloved holiday tradition.
I've been making these latkes for many years now. They are excellent and I do consider this a foolproof recipe. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these potato pancakes. Scroll down to the recipe card for the exact measurements. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Onion: I use a large yellow onion. Some people like to use green onions, but I find that yellow onions are more flavorful.
Yukon Gold potatoes: They are suitable for frying because they are not very starchy.
Eggs: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
Salt and pepper: I use sea salt. If using kosher salt, you can use a little more.
Garlic powder: Or use a teaspoon of fresh minced garlic.
Avocado oil: A neutral-tasting oil, suitable for high-heat cooking.
Making this latkes recipe is easy, especially if you own a food processor. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here's an overview of the steps:
- Your first step is to shred onion and potatoes. It's easy to do in your food processor.
- Drain them well (really well!), then mix them with eggs and spices.
- Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into hot oil and fry on both sides until very crispy.
- Place on paper towels to drain.
I have three tips for you for ensuring perfect results:
Get rid of the liquid. Extract as much liquid from the potato/onion mixture as you can, by placing the mixture in a colander and repeatedly pressing on it with your hands. The drier the mixture, the crispier the fritters will be.
Don't add flour to the mixture! When you don't add flour, the potato pancakes taste much better. They are a bit more fragile, but nothing that one can't handle. My beloved grandma Chava never added flour to her recipe. She considered it as something that only lazy housewives would do, and she was not lazy! 😀
Fry them in hot oil until VERY crispy. You want the lacy edges to be brown. Proper brown, not golden brown. The middle can be golden brown.
Frequently asked questions
I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes. Russet potatoes are also an option. Their high starch content makes for sturdier pancakes that are less likely to fall apart.
But I like the flavor of Yukon Gold potatoes better, and I find that as long as you drain the water thoroughly, they crisp up just fine and don't fall apart.
The onions are an excellent addition that adds tons of flavor. Some people prefer to use green onions (white and green parts), and that's certainly an option. While milder in taste, latkes made with green onions are prettier.
Having said that, in terms of flavor, I prefer to use yellow onions.
Sadly, no. You shouldn't use frozen hash browns potatoes in this recipe. I tried, and it’s just not the same. The fritters turn out much less flavorful and quite soggy. It's best to use fresh potatoes; Yukon Gold potatoes are the best.
There's no need for flour. The flour is supposed to help bind the ingredients and prevent the fritters from falling apart.
But latkes made without flour taste significantly better. As mentioned above, as long as you thoroughly drain the potato/onion mixture, the pancakes will crisp up and will not fall apart.
You can, although they do taste best when fresh out of the skillet. Having said that, I often finish making them an hour before dinnertime, then keep them in a warm (150 degrees F) oven until it's time to serve them.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Cook the pancakes in a fat other than avocado oil. Ghee is a good option. It's very tasty.
- As mentioned above, you can use green onions instead of yellow. White onions are an option too and so are shallots.
- Add more spices. This is nontraditional, but you can add a pinch of dried thyme.
- Another nontraditional option is to add dry-grated parmesan to the mixture. Try ¼ cup.
Latkes are traditionally served with sour cream and applesauce. You can also serve them with salsa or hot sauce. They're excellent all on their own, of course, so they don't really need any of these toppings.
You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheat them in a 200 F degree oven. They won't be as good as fresh, but they will still be quite good.
👩🏻🍳 I typically publish a new or an updated recipe once a week. Want these recipes in your inbox? Subscribe! You can unsubscribe at any time.
Perfect Latkes Recipe
- 1 large onion (8 oz)
- 2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes peeled (Russet potatoes are also good)*
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 16 oz avocado oil
- Set the oven to warm (150 degrees F). Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
- Peel the onion, quarter it, then process it in the food processor until it’s finely chopped. Place in a colander, and place the colander on top of a bowl.
- Using the fine shredding disc of your food processor, shred the potatoes. Place them in the colander.
- Use your clean hands to mix the onion and potatoes. Press on the mixture with your hands, repeatedly, to extract as much liquid as you humanly can into the bowl. This is the single most important step in this recipe. The drier the mixture is, the crispier the latkes will turn out, and the less risk of them falling apart. Resist the temptation to add flour to help absorb the liquid: it is unnecessary and will result in suboptimal results.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add the drained onion/potato mixture and use a fork to mix well.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking, about 4 minutes. The oil should cover the bottom of the skillet and be about ½ inch deep.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of mixture per pancake into the skillet, pressing on them a little with a spatula to flatten. If using a 12-inch skillet, you’ll be able to fry 4 latkes at a time. I fry in 2 skillets simultaneously – it cuts the frying time in half and is quite doable.
- Cook the latkes until their undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn them over and cook until the other side is browned, about 5 more minutes.
- Transfer the cooked latkes to paper towels to drain, then place them on the prepared baking sheet and keep them in the warm oven while you finish frying more batches. Between batches, mix again the egg/potato/onion mixture - it tends to separate.