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Old Fashioned Potato Latkes

Potato pancakes or latkes are a traditional Jewish dish, enjoyed especially during the festival of Hanukkah. This is a reposting of an Earth Eats recipe from 2010.

Old Fashioned Potato Latkes


  • 5 large russet potatoes, about 2-1/2 lbs total
  • 4 scallions- chopped fine
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or more as needed
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons salt (potatoes need a lot)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • oil for frying (peanut oil works well)
  • applesauce and sour cream for serving


  1. Peel the potatoes and grate them on the large holes of a hand-held grater.
  2. Transfer them to a sieve set over a bowl and, using your hands or the back of a wooden spoon, press out as much moisture as you can. Starch will collect under the potato water.
  3. Some cooks pour off the water and add the starch back to the potatoes, as a binder.
  4. Combine the chopped scallions with the potato in a clean bowl. Add the liquid potato starch, if you like.
  5. Beat the eggs in a small bowl.
  6. Add them to the potatoes, then stir in enough flour to make a light batter.
  7. Add the salt and the pepper to taste.
  8. In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, warm enough oil to come 1/8 to 1/4 inch up the sides of the pan. It should be good and hot but not smoking.
  9. Fry a nugget of the potato mixture, then taste it to make sure there's enough salt.
  10. Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls or 1/4 cupfuls into the hot oil.
  11. Gently press on them to flatten them out. Don't crowd the pan or the latkes will become soggy.
  12. Fry until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then turn and brown the second side.
  13. Remove to paper towels to drain briefly, then serve as soon as possible, with the applesauce and sour cream.

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