Chanukah Potato Latkes

Foods fried in oil are traditional at Chanukah, commemorating the oil that miraculously burned for eight nights as the Jews rebuilt their temple. Frying the latkes is time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort to make plenty—these delicious treats go fast.


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1 large onion
3 pounds potatoes, peeled
1 egg
1/3 cup Matzo meal*
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
~ oil for frying
~ applesauce as an accompaniment
~ sour cream as an accompaniment
  1. Coarsely grate the onion on a box grater or in a food processor. Set aside.
  1. Coarsely grate the potatoes on a box grater or in a food processor fitted with a grating blade.
  2. Lay a clean, absorbent kitchen towel on the counter and spread the onion and potatoes evenly over the surface. Roll up the towel and squeeze out all of the excess water.
  1. Place the onions, potatoes, egg, matzo meal, salt and pepper in a spacious bowl and mix well.
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy, flat-bottomed pan over high heat until almost smoking.
  1. Spoon the mixture directly into the hot oil in the pan, forming the individual latkes. Lower the heat to medium high and allow he latkes to sear and form a golden brown crust—approximately two to three minutes.
  1. Flip the cakes over and brown the other side for approximately three minutes or until cooked. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning

NOTE: Do not use too much oil for frying or the cakes absorb it and lose their texture. The latkes should be lightly fried, not deep fried.

  1. Remove the finished latkes and place them on a warm platter lined with paper towels. Blot any excess oil.
  1. Continue to fry the latkes in batches, adding more oil as needed. Hold the finished cakes in a warm oven until you have fried the entire batch, then serve immediately.