Hanukkah calls for a feast of oil-fried foods, in celebration of the miracle of oil behind the holiday. Perhaps the most well-known of those symbolic foods is the latke—that beloved potato pancake, made from grated potato and onion, matzo meal, and egg, shallow-fried to crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-creamy-on-the-inside perfection.
Here, to help you achieve such potato pancake perfection at home, Jamie Geller, Jewish food writer, celebrity chef, and cookbook author, offers her best tips for shatteringly crisp homemade latkes. Try them out on her two recipes below.
Tips for the Crispiest Latkes
- Grate the long side of the potato for longer, lacier pieces to achieve a crispier latke.
- Squeeze the grated potatoes dry using a kitchen towel or cheesecloth before adding the eggs.
- Fry in extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive enhances the flavor of your foods and it has lots of extra nutrients. Don’t worry—it’s great to fry in as long as you keep the temperature at around 350–360 degrees F, which is actually the perfect temperature for frying.
- Fry at the right oil temperature. Test the readiness of the oil using a thermometer, or a wooden chopstick or handle of a wooden spoon. Place the end in the hot oil, and when the oil bubbles around it, it is ready.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Drain latkes on a paper towel-lined plate, and eat fresh for the best results.
RECIPE: Classic Latkes
RECIPE: Lacy Squash Latkes