Plate of Potato Pancakes
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Potato Pancakes
- Placki Kartoflane   |   Jewish - Latkes / Levivot
4 break  
30 min  
A very popular appetizer / breakfast / meatless dinner in Central and Eastern Europe, and a traditional Hanukkah dish (because of the oil connection) among Jews of Eastern European extraction. These may be eaten topped with sour cream, apple sauce, horseradish, mustard, preserves or just plain salt (my favorite). This recipe makes about 12.


Potatoes,russet (1)
Egg, large
Flour, all purpose  
Oil (2)
  1. Slice ONION thin and chop very fine.
  2. Beat EGG lightly.
  3. Peel POTATOES and grate on the coarse side of a box grater or with a similar disk or drum. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can and immediately mix in Onions, Egg, Flour and Salt. At this point you can break for just a few minutes if you need to.
  4. In a large heavy skillet, heat Oil about 1/16 inch deep over moderate heat. For each pancake spoon in 1-1/2 oz of the Potato mix (I use a 1-1/2 ounce restaurant ladle), then flatten to about 1/4 inch thick and shape them as needed.
  5. When browned on one side (watch the edges for a hint, and stiffness when moved), turn and fry the other side. Watch your oil making sure it doesn't get too hot and smoke, and add more as needed - there must be liquid oil in the pan.
  6. Remove from the pan and interleave with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  7. Serve hot with condiments and toppings of your choice. They can be reheated in the oven if need be.
  1. Potatoes:   Russets are the potatoes you want to use. They're relatively dry, fry well and cook up tender in a very short time. For details see our Potato Page.
  2. Lard or Oil:   Lard is the best frying medium, as used in Poland and the Baltic region. It has less sticking problem and splatters a lot less than oil - but - if you're calling these "Latkes", that's probably forbidden. Olive Oil (Pomace or Pure Olive Oil, not Virgin) works particularly well here and is healthy, or Avocado oil (even better). For details see our Cooking Oils page. and our Lard page (Lard isn'tnearly as dangerous as you've been told).
  3. Names & Variations:   Placki, Kartoflane (Polish); Latkes (Yiddish); Levivot (Hebrew); Deruny (Ukraine); Draniki (Russia); Reiberdatschi, Kartoffelpuffer (Germany); Rarakor, Raggmunk (Sweden). Some recipes call for the onion, others do not.
  4. Method:
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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