High-starch potaoes (like russets or yellow flesh) are the best choice when making latkes. Popular in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, they’re traditionally prepared to celebrate Hanukkah. Keep a splatter guard handy to save you from spluttering oil. To help decrease the amount of splutter, squeeze the potato shreds, so the water collects in a separate bowl. If you wish, let the water sit for a few minutes and drain off the water to mix the starch that settled at the bottom of the bowl into the batter. The starch helps to bind the batter and coats the shreds, allowing the latkes to crisp up and helps to stop them from absorbing excess oil. This recipe was provided by Rabbi Moshe Goldman.
5 large potatoes (approx. 1.75 kg/ 2.25 lbs, total weigh) peeled
1 large onion
4 eggs, beaten
40 g (approx. (approx. ⅓l cup) matzah meal, panko crumbs, or very dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoonl pepper
80 ml (⅓l cup) )frying oil, plus more as needed
Line one baking tray with a double layer of paper towels. Place a wire rack on a second tray. Set aside.
Using the fine side of a box grater (or a food processor) grate potatoes and onions. Mix in eggs, then the matzah meal and spices.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. It will be hot enough when a teaspoon of batter is dropped into it and bubbles and fries immediately. Use it to also test for seasoning.
When the oil is ready and the you've got the seasoning to your liking,, drop a tablespoon of batter into the pan and flatten into pancakes. Add more to the pan, being careful to not overcrowd the pan. Fry 2-3 minutes, until golden, and flip and brown the other side, again about 2-3 minutes.
remove and drain on kitchen towels and then cool on the wire rack.
If needed, add more oil to the pan between batches and remove any stray potato or onion whiskers. Let the oil return to temp before frying the next batch.
Traditionally, they’re served with cold apple sauce or sour cream, but you can use the same condiments as you would with French fries.
You can also make latke poutine, but as traditional poutine wouldn’t be kosher, a vegetarian version could be made with mushroom sauce and vegan cheese (pictured).
Latkes can be made ahead and re-crisped by placing them on a cooling rack set on a baking tray and popped into a low oven to re-warm.