The Washington Post

Classic Potato Latkes

Classic Potato Latkes 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Nov 30, 2020

These straightforward classic latkes customary for Hanukkah meals have one trick up their sleeve: extra potato starch. Once you drain the extra liquid out of the shredded potatoes, save the starch in that liquid and add it to your latke mixture. Plus, sneak in additional potato starch to guarantee the crispiest latkes ever. Applesauce and/or sour cream are traditional accompaniments, but if you’re feeling festive, salmon roe or even caviar (with crème fraîche) are not out of the question.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings; makes about 18 latkes

  • 4 large russet potatoes (about 2 pounds 8 ounces total), peeled
  • 1 small yellow onion (4 to 6 ounces), finely grated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch (may substitute cornstarch)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola, for frying
  • Applesauce, for serving (optional)
  • Sour cream or creme fraiche, for serving (optional)
  • Lox, for serving (optional)
  • Salmon roe, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh dill fronds and finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish (optional)


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 200 degrees. Place a wire rack inside a large, rimmed baking sheet.

Using a food processor fitted with coarse grating attachment, or the large holes of a box grater, grate the potatoes. Transfer to a large piece of folded cheesecloth set in a medium bowl. Twist into a bundle and gently but firmly squeeze out excess liquid into the bowl. (You may need to do this in batches.)

Empty the potatoes into a large bowl. Let the liquid sit undisturbed while you prepare the latke mixture.

Place a large, heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium heat and warm while you mix the latke mixture.

Add the onion, eggs, flour, potato starch, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Gently tilt the bowl with the potato liquid to drain out the water; you should see a white layer of starch at the bottom. Scrape the starch into the bowl with the potatoes and gently mix all the ingredients to combine.

Add enough oil to come 1/4 inch up the sides of the skillet and gently swirl the oil around — when the oil gently ripples across the surface, it is hot enough for frying.

Working in batches, spoon between 1/4 and 1/3 cup potato mixture per latke into the skillet; you should be able to fit 4 to 5 latkes at a time. Fry the latkes until golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes per side, then, using a thin metal spatula, gently flip the latkes. (Your first batch might take up to 4 minutes per side, but as the pan gets hotter, the subsequent batches will go faster. When you see the frilly ends of the latke turn golden brown, it’s time to flip.)

Transfer the latkes to the prepared baking sheet; place the sheet in the oven to keep the latkes warm. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil as needed; you may need to adjust the heat with subsequent batches if the latkes start to brown too quickly. As the potato mixture sits, liquid may pool at the bottom of the bowl; be sure to scoop the mixture, draining away any water before adding to the skillet.

Transfer the latkes to a large platter and serve warm, with your choice of accompaniments, such as applesauce, sour cream, lox, salmon roe and/or dill and chives, if desired.

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Recipe Source

From Olga Massov.

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 291

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 8g 12%

Saturated Fat: 3g 15%

Cholesterol: 301mg 100%

Sodium: 685mg 29%

Total Carbohydrates: 41g 14%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 15g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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