Potato Latkes

Fun facts:

  1. A latke is a Jewish specialty consumed during Chanukah/Hanukkah (the festival of lights). A latke is a pancake made from potatoes that are fried in oil.
  2. In Yiddish, the word Latke was originally derived from the Ukrainian word for pancake, oladka.
  3. History: A band of Jewish dissidents refused to worship Greek gods and revolted against the Seleucid empire in order to celebrate their religion freely. To commemorate their victory and the rededication of their temple, they lit an oil-burning lamp. The story goes that while they only had enough oil to last one day, the lamp miraculously remained lit for eight days in what’s now known as the miracle of Hanukkah. Today, latkes are fried in oil as part of Hanukkah celebrations around the globe.

DAY 8 – Rooks to Cooks’ Top 10 Holiday Recipe Countdown

Chef Shai’s Signature Potato Latke Recipe

Yield: 8 Latkes


  • 2 Large russet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 medium cooking onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs or matzah meal
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour or potato starch
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Using a cheese grater or food processor, shred your potatoes and onions into a large bowl. Mince your garlic and add it to the mixture.
  2. Using cheesecloth or a thin rag, squeeze all the water out of the potato mix. Once dry, put back into the bowl and add the egg, bread crumbs, flour, salt and pepper.
  3. In a large rondeau or frying pan, heat oil over medium – high heat. Oil temperature should be 360F.
  4. Divide potato mixture into 8 equal portions. Form a patty in your hands and carefully lay in the oil, repeat until pan is full. Fry until crisp and dark brown. Using a spatula, carefully flip the latke and fry second side.
  5. Remove latkes from the pan and let drain on a wire rack or paper towel.
  6. Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream.