Introduction: Potato Latkes

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Some foods evoke memories of the best times in one’s life, and offer comfort when things are rough - for me one of those foods is the humble Potato Latke. Traditionally eaten at Chanukah with applesauce and sour cream (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it), Latkes are a delicious reminder of getting by with not a lot and using what is available.

This recipe is a slightly adapted version of the one used by The Selfhelp Home, an elder-care facility focused on providing care and a community for older Jews many of whom were affected by the Holocaust.



  • 3-4 large potatoes (Idaho/russet variety)
  • 1 large onion (white, yellow, or sweet)
  • 5 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon pepper (optional)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • About 1 cup of oil for frying (vegetable preferred, you’ll want a neutral oil with a high smoke point)
  • Applesauce (bonus “recipe” in Step 4) and sour cream to serve with


  • Vegetable peeler and small knife
  • Food processor with grating attachment or a box grater
  • Clean dish towel, cheese cloth, or your hands
  • Large mixing bowl and spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large frying pan and spatula
  • Baking sheet lined with paper towel or brown paper (grocery bags work well)

Step 1: Prepping the Tubers

  1. Add oil to your frying pan and heat over medium heat
  2. Peel the potatoes and onion and rinse with water
  3. Using the food processor or box grater, grate the potato and onion
  4. Place the grated potatoes and onions in the towel/cheese cloth and squeeze firmly (be sure to do this over your sink or a container, a lot of liquid will come out)
  5. Place the squeezed potatoes and onions into the bowl and add the eggs, salt, pepper, and flour; mix to combine

Step 2: Into the Fire

  1. Using your fingers (or a spoon) scoop out a golf ball-sized amount of the potato mixture and form into a disc with your hands (about 1/2 inch thick)
  2. Place the disc (CAREFULLY) into the hot oil
  3. Repeat with additional balls of mixture until your pan has one full layer (usually 6-7 discs)

Step 3: Serve It Up

  1. Allow to cook on the bottom side until golden brown (about 6 minutes) then flip using the spatula and cook an additional 6 minutes (or until browned on both sides)
  2. Remove to paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain excess oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt
  3. Repeat with additional potato mixture
  4. Serve alongside applesauce and sour cream, and enjoy!

Step 4: Bonus! Applesauce

You’ll Need...


  • Apples (I’m using a mixture of what my store had available - Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala; 6 apples used here but you could easily do more and can/jar extra sauce for later)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch each of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg (optional)
  • Lemon juice (optional)


  • Large pot and mixing spoon
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Food mill (if you don’t have one, you can peel your apples and cut out the cores) over a large bowl

How To

  1. Wash your apples and cut them into a medium/large dice (if you don’t have a food mill you’ll want to peel and core them first)
  2. Place them into the pot over medium heat with 1/4 of water (just enough to keep it moving around) and cover
  3. Cook until very soft (about 15 minutes), stirring every 5 minutes or so to be sure they don’t burn
  4. Remove the lid and cook an additional few minutes to allow some excess liquid to boil off (you want it damp, but not like soup)
  5. Using the mixing spoon, transfer the apples to the food mill and crank them through to mash them, while also removing the seeds and peels
  6. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; taste for seasoning and add lemon juice or other spices if desired
  7. Allow to cool slightly, and enjoy!
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