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Classic Potato Latkes

Cook Time:
15 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins
makes about 10 latkes

Chef notes

Perfect crispy pan-fried latkes are a simple dish synonymous with Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. Shredded potatoes and onions are bound with starch and eggs, then pan-fried until golden and glistening. Sour cream and applesauce are considered to be the traditional accompaniments to this classic Hanukkah dish, but the options for topping latkes are truly endless. Don’t get us wrong — these crispy fried potato pancakes are delicious on their own with nothing more than a bit of flaky sea salt. But what better way to celebrate this holiday than by adding a little something unique to the usual fare? 

Other creamy spreads like crème fraîche and cream cheese are as delicious as the usual sour cream. Besides applesauce, try a dollop of sweet fruit preserves like apricot jam or orange marmalade. Or take it in the opposite direction and add some heat — a little bit of spicy pepper relish or a drizzle of hot honey will go a long way in terms of flavor. Sprinkle crunchy toppings like toasted nuts and seeds over individual latkes before serving. They add a new layer of texture to each bite. Crispy bits of fried onions are also fun, and we know you have a container in your pantry. They have a similar texture to the latkes themselves ( it’s almost like topping latkes with more latkes!) 

Even if you don’t celebrate Hanukkah, these crispy bite-sized potato fritters will be a popular addition to any holiday menu — serve them as a starter, side dish or pass them around with other snacks during cocktail hour.


  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup matzo meal, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • applesauce, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving
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 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.


In a separate mixing bowl, add the potatoes, onions, matzo meal, salt and eggs, and mix until well incorporated.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


Transfer the latkes to a platter and serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream on the side.