Crispy Potato Latkes

The secret to making crisp, lacy latkes? Remove as much of the liquid in the potatoes as possible without removing their natural starch, which helps bind the pancakes.

Serves: 12Prep: 30 minutesCook: 20 minutesTotal: 50 minutesDifficulty: Easy


Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3 large potatoes)
  • 1⁄2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons matzo meal or unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 1⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 cups cups canola oil or peanut oil
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Applesauce, for serving

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 250°F. Line baking sheet with paper towels.
  • Peel potatoes; place in large bowl of cold water to prevent browning.
  • Grate potatoes. Place potato shreds in colander.
  • Working in batches as needed, wrap potato shreds in large piece of cheesecloth or muslin and squeeze over large bowl, allowing liquid to drain into bowl. Squeeze as much liquid out of potatoes as possible. Place drained shreds back in colander.
  • Discard brown potato liquid from bowl but leave white potato starch that has fallen to the bottom. (This will help bind latkes.) Add potato shreds, onion, egg, matzo meal or breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Using fork, stir to combine ingredients thoroughly, making sure to incorporate potato starch.
  • Fill large, heavy skillet with ½” oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat until small piece of potato sizzles when dropped in pan.
  • Form ¼ cup potato mixture into a patty; carefully drop into hot oil. Flatten with spatula to approximately 1” thick. Repeat until you have three or four latkes in the skillet, making sure not to crowd them.
  • Fry until underside is browned and firm, about 3 minutes. Flip carefully and cook until second side is browned and crisp, approximately 3 minutes. Continue flipping as needed until both sides are deep golden brown, but not burnt, and inside is cooked through. Remove cooked latkes to paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
  • Repeat with remaining batter. Cooked latkes can be kept warm in the oven while frying the rest.
  • Serve latkes hot with applesauce and sour cream. Refrigerate any leftovers.