Classic Potato Latkes

In Apps, Snacks & Drinks, Family-friendly, Main Dishes by Frances Largeman-Roth

Makes 12 servings | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 min

Chanukah is arriving early this year. My kids are thrilled, but I’m still cleaning up from Thanksgiving!

Chanukah food centers around one thing–oil. It’s to commemorate the miracle of the oil that burned in the Temple of Jerusalem for eight nights instead of just one. Because they are fried in oil, latkes help remind us of the Chanukah story. Making your own latkes is a fair amount of work (and mess), but they are definitely worth it! Aside from a really good French fry, there is no other fried potato combination that is this delicious. And yes, you should grate the potatoes by hand. If you use a food processor, the potatoes get too fine and the texture just isn’t the same. It’s work, but it’s the way my mom taught me and it’s how I’ll be passing the recipe down to my children–enjoy and Happy Chanukah!


  • 1/2 yellow onion (place in the freezer to avoid crying)
  • 1 pound Idaho potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Coarsely grate the potatoes using a box grater. As you grate them, transfer the shredded potatoes to a large bowl filled with cold water so they don’t discolor.
  2. Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Place the shredded potatoes into the sieve and use a large spatula or wooden spoon to squeeze out the water. Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Remove the onion from the freezer (you’re welcome!) and grate with the box grater. Squeeze out the excess water and add the onion to the potatoes in the bowl. Add the beaten egg, salt and pepper to the potato mixture and mix well.
  4. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until it’s shimmering, but not smoking. Working in batches, add 1/4 cup of the potato mixture to the hot oil, squeezing out any remaining moisture before you add it to the pan. Flatten the tops of the latkes slightly with a spatula. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until bottoms are golden, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 4 minutes.
  5. Transfer cooked latkes to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat steps until all the mixture has been cooked. Enjoy the latkes while hot, with applesauce and Greek yogurt or sour cream. If you have any leftover (not likely), you can reheat them in the oven at 200° for about 10 minutes.