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Hanukkah may be the festival of lights, but when it comes to the food, it's really the festival of oil. There's no better way to celebrate than with a gorgeous platter of freshly fried latkes begging to get smothered in applesauce and sour cream. Even if you don't celebrate Hanukkah, these crispy potatoes make a wonderful side dish to pretty much any holiday meal.
Using a box grater, coarsely grate the potatoes and onion.2.
Transfer grated veggies to a medium bowl lined with cheesecloth or a thin dish towel and wring the cloth to squeeze out any liquid into the bowl. Set the bowl of liquid aside to sit for 5 minutes.3.
Put the squeezed potatoes and onion in another medium bowl, add the matzo meal, salt and eggs, and mix until well incorporated.4.
Pour off and discard the reserved liquid from the first bowl, revealing a thin layer of white potato starch stuck to the bottom. Stir the potato starch into the potato mixture.5.
In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. While the oil heats, line a plate with paper towels.6.
Working in batches, scoop 3 or 4 (1/3-cup) balls of the potato mixture into the pan, spacing them 2 inches apart. Using a spatula, smash each ball to flatten. Cook the latkes, flipping once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side.7.
Transfer fried latkes to the paper towel–lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the pan between batches as needed. Make sure to let the oil get hot again before continuing with each batch.8.
Transfer the latkes to a platter and serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream on the side.