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Basic Potato Latkes

Traditional potato latkes are a must-have at any holiday get-together.

  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2002


  • 1 yellow onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater, or minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup matzo meal
  • 2 pounds (4 large) russet potatoes. peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Pink Applesauce for Latkes, for serving (optional)
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, combine onion, salt, and pepper. Add eggs, and stir until incorporated. Stir in matzo meal until mixture is smooth. Add potatoes, and toss until combined and evenly coated.

  2. Fill a large, heavy-bottom skillet with about 1/2 inch oil. Place over medium heat until oil is almost smoking. (To test, drop a small bit of batter into the skillet; the oil should sizzle upon contact.)

  3. Working in batches so as not to crowd skillet, carefully spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into oil for each pancake. Lightly tamp down to flatten. Cook until golden on each side, 2 to 3 minutes, turning once. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to drain on a paper-towel-lined wire rack, and repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream, if desired.

Cook's Notes

When making latkes, you don't have to squeeze the moisture out of the potato mixture, which can be a messy and labor-intensive process. Instead, stir the mixture right before you form it into pancakes, and incorporate the liquid from the bottom of the bowl as you work. There may be as much as one-third cup liquid left over after all pancakes have been formed. To prevent the potatoes from discoloring too much, peel and grate them just before using.


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