Hanukkah means latkes!
Crunchy on the outside and steamy soft within, these delicious potato pancakes are an amazing Hanukkah treat that’s perfect for the whole family, filling, and a great side dish to any meal.
Scroll down for our recipe for perfect Hanukkah potato pancakes. It really is the best ever latke recipe! (And check out our other favorite Hanukkah recipes here.)
✅ Never fry in olive oil
I know we eat latkes to remember the miracle of the oil, but olive oil is no good for frying as it doesn’t have a high enough smoke point and its olive notes will give an off-flavor to your latkes. Stick with vegetable or sunflower oil instead.
✅ Ditch the paper towels
Your Bubbe probably stacked her latkes onto paper towels to drain the oil, but this actually leaves your pancakes sitting on oil trapping in steam. In other words, it will ruin the amazing crispy finish that makes us love latkes! Instead, line your counter with paper towels and place metal cooling racks over them. Transfer your latkes to the wire racks – the oil will drip down and the latkes will stay crunchy.
✅ Don’t over squeeze your potatoes
Squeezing (in a cheesecloth, because who has time for the sieve?!) is necessary to remove the potato’s natural water and give a crispy pancake. But don’t over-squeeze – you’ll lose the precious starch stored in the potato too. Starch is a natural binder, and knowing when to stop squeezing means you’ll need less flour.
✅ Flour or matzah meal?
Honestly? Either. Flour will bind your mixture more firmly, but matzah meal gives a crispier finish. A little baking powder will make your latkes feather light!
✅ Don’t overcrowd the pan
Putting too many latkes in your frying pan at once means they’ll bring down the oil temperature. This makes the pancakes cook slower and absorb more oil. Stick to three or four latkes in a standardly-sized frying pan.
Best Ever Latke Recipe
Yields approx. 10 latkes
- 3 large, starchy potatoes, peeled
- 2 eggs
- 1 onion
- 3 tablespoons flour or matzah meal
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- Pour a layer of oil into a non-stick frying pan and place on a high flame to heat through.
- Coarsely grate the potatoes. Squeeze out the liquid.
- Grate the onion. Add to the potatoes, then add eggs, flour, and seasoning to create your batter.
- Place spoonfuls of batter into the frying pan. Press down gently with the back of a spoon. Fry until golden brown, then flip and fry the second side.
- Sprinkle lightly with a little salt. Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream – it’s tradition!
Enjoy, and wishing you a Happy Hanukkah from the Judaica Webstore team in Jerusalem!