Latkes (Potato Pancakes)


I love cooked breakfast foods.

But really, I like breakfast foods at about 11:00am, because it takes me a while to wake up and become functional enough in the mornings to cook. (That’s why Saturdays are so awesome.)

Every other day of the week, when I can’t afford the luxury of taking so much time, we usually end up with cereal or toast or whatever fruit happens to be available.

But sometimes. Sometimes I like to surprise Justin and get up early to cook for him before we have to leave for class. Here’s one of those recipes I slipped out of bed at 6am for, being careful not to wake the sleeping law student.

Potato pancakes, or “latkes” are traditional Hanukkah fare. And while it’s not Hanukkah time and I’m not Jewish, I thought these looked like an awesome thing to try.

(They are.)

Some people serve them with apple sauce or sour cream. Another faction serves them with a fried egg on top. The best idea I’ve come across is to top them with slices of pear and brie. Your call! I can’t imagine them being anything other than delicious.

The recipe yields a lot, but the good news is that you can re-crisp them by popping leftovers into the oven at 400 °F for just a few minutes. They do taste almost as good the next day.


Latkes (Potato Pancakes)


  • 1 large baking potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  •  Vegetable oil, for frying



Peel the potato and onion and coarsely shred them into strips. (I used the grater on my mandoline, but you could also use a food processor or a box grater.) Use a cheesecloth or a colander to squeeze the vegetables as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together. Stir in the potato onion mixture until all pieces are evenly coated.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until simmering. Drop small circles of the potato mixture into the skillet, flattening them with the back of a spoon if necessary.

Cook over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1-1/2 minutes; Flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute.

Drain excess oil on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. You can keep finished latkes heated in the oven at 200 °F while you’re making the rest so they’re all hot and ready to go at the same time.


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.


  1. Kimberly says:

    Tried this because I was given 10lbs of red potatoes and am single. 3 minutes on each side and froze them. when reheating in skillet I did not need any more oil. Yum!!

  2. Ava says:

    Anyone know if you can use a different kind of oil, something healthier like coconut oil or avacado oil ?

  3. Paula Jones says:

    I used to buy these from street venders in Germany. They served them with apple sauce on the side for dipping, very tasty!

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