Mom’s Amazing Latkes

Latkes. Fried potato goodness dipped in sour cream and/or apple sauce. We eat them once a year on Hanukkah. They are worth every single calorie and every minute of frying. Of course if you are only cooking for a small family, it’s not that labor intensive. But if you are like us, and want to make 70+ latkes, it takes a bit of time…


There are many, many variations on latkes. This year since Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving, we are seeing lots of sweet potato latke recipes with sweet and fun toppings. We are sticking to the traditional. We only have them once a year and I want them the same way I’ve been enjoying them for the last few decades. 🙂 However, I highly recommend adding zucchini and even some garlic powder for some extra flavor and goodness. Using less potato and more vegetable is obviously a good thing, and you can’t taste the difference. It’s a great way to hide some veggies and make your kids eat them! 


  • 12 medium potatoes (or substitute one or two potatoes with zucchini)
  • 2 onions (1 1/2 if they are large)
  • 3-4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour – plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt & black pepper (season liberally!)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Vegetable oil and olive oil for frying (we use some of both in the pan)
  • Garlic powder (optional)


Peel and rinse potatoes in cold water. Half the potatoes to fit in the grater and then grate the potatoes and onion- I recommend a food processor with a grating disc. You can do them by hand but why bother? We use the julienne grater so our latkes have texture. Otherwise they’re like mush.


Put the mixture in a large strainer and add flour, salt, pepper and baking powder. Add flour in little by little and mix well. You will need to add more flour- you don’t want the mixture to be really wet. Allow the liquid to drip through the strainer.

(You’ll want to keep your mixture cold if you aren’t frying immediately–especially if you have a large batch like us. Place ice in a large bowl and set your bowl with the mixture in it, in the ice bath.)

20131209-161825.jpgUsing a slotted spoon, take a small spoonful of the mixture to the frying pan. I suggest using another spoon to press down on the latke making it thin and squeezing out any excess liquid through the slots. We like thin and crunchy latkes (see photo). If you want thick potato pancakes, look elsewhere. Then slide the mixture off the pan into the oil.

Taste one of your first latkes. You may need to add more salt so now is the time to test it 🙂

Fry until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towel-lined brown grocery bags.

latkesServe with applesauce and/or sour cream. We made a delicious sour cream topping by adding parmesan cheese and truffle salt. These truly are worth the work. 


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