Introduction: Lazy Latkes -- Quick Gluten-Free, Vegan Potato Pancakes

Picture of Lazy Latkes -- Quick Gluten-Free, Vegan Potato Pancakes

I feel like every year around Hanukkah, there's a sudden surge in potato pancake recipes on the internet. Most are made with flour, eggs, matzoh, eggs and whatever else but I find that usually the simplest approach is always the best -- culinary lex parsimoniae or something. This recipe contains only the most basic ingredients, yet still maintains all of the rich heartiness, crunchiness and yumminess of any other potato pancake recipe.It comes more-or-less from my family's age-old recipe for deruny/draniki.

To Sum:
Clean and puree a few potatoes, salt to taste and fry in oil.  Even though I went ahead and made a page for each step, this is really what this recipe boils (or frys...) down to.

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
You will NEED:
  • Potatoes -- any kind are fine. I usually use Russets. 1 large potato per person is an OK way to gauge how many potatoes you'll need, but round up -- especially if you're a glutton like me. 
  • Salt -- just a dash, to taste.
If you want to be decadent, you might also want one or some of these:
  • Garlic -- I love garlic. I usually have to pause for a moment to convince myself to use only half of the garlic I want to use. 2-3 cloves is probably enough for most people.
  • Spices -- Paprika is a safe bet, but feel free to experiment.

Step 2: Prep

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Peel your potatoes and garlic.

Use a blender, food processor or immersion blender to puree your raw peeled potatoes and garlic. Back in the day, the potatoes would have to be grated on one of the smaller sides of a box grater. If you don't have any of these modern conveniences, grating will still be perfectly fine provided you still grate them finely.

Add salt and optional spices.

Step 3: Fry!

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Use a spoon to pour your pancakes into a hot pan with a thin layer of oil. The thinner you spread the batter the crunchier they'll be. Cook on medium heat for maybe 2 minutes per side, always making sure that there's plenty of oil. 
I've never been good at knowing how much time has passed so this is probably a better guideline: once you see the edges becoming crispy and brown, flip them over.

Alternately, if you want to be a bit healthier you can just grill them on a griddle -- they'll be a lot less exciting though.

Step 4: Serving Suggestions

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When I was growing up these would always be served with sour cream, caramelized onions and crumbled bacon. Any of those toppings is amazing with these savory little things. A few years ago I joined the civilized world and started eating them with applesauce -- also tasty!

I am about to eat this particular batch with some Ajvar, and that will probably be the best yet.


stephmp24 made it! (author)2016-12-13

I just made these, and the taste is great! But, the middle came out kind of mushy -- any tips?

BM24 (author)2016-08-06

I grew up on these, tho do like the grated version as it gives more texture to the potatoes. Mom always said "if YOU grate the potatoes, I'll make the pancakes!" The pureed ones here are more like what mom made from left over mashed potatoes the next morning, making those into what we called Potato Cakes, not to be confused with the Potato Pancakes that were from the grated potatoes....

Ah, the benefits of German heritage! Sehr Gut! ;)

Perfect served with a sunny side up egg on a stack and some bacon! Yum

tyazaki (author)2014-08-29

Luv these! They've become the house favorite! Thanks for sharing :)

Reed_Sky_Born (author)2012-04-05

i failed at making it mine looks like vomit (:

rajester (author)2011-12-25

Could you explain how you create your "batter" as best I can figure, the batter is just the potatoes, garlic, and spices. Did you use a binder? Did you have to add additional liquid?

lolifer (author)rajester2011-12-26

There is no binder -- the pureed potatoes have enough starch to hold everything together without needing any flour or eggs.

rajester (author)lolifer2011-12-26

Thank you

susanrm (author)2011-12-22

Yummy yum yum! Another great use for my Blendtec. I also use leeks instead of onions, because I'm allergic to onions. Leeks don't caramelize the same way, so they are a little more savory, which I like.

jessyratfink (author)2011-12-22

Oh, very nice. I never thought about just processing it all together. I might have to make these soon. :D (author)2011-12-22

This looks delicious, I have to try them out:)

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