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Hanukkah Latkes – Yum Yum Yum

December 1, 2010

Get out your menorahs, dreidels and frying pans. Hanukkah is here! This year, I made a recipe that I’ve never tried before and let me say, they were delicious! Here’s the secret: Yukon Gold Potatoes.

Gold Potato Latkes

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (I didn’t even peel them tonight)

1 small brown onion (I did peel this)

1/4 cup matzo meal (you can also use flour)

1 tsp. salt (I prefer Kosher, of course)

4 eggs

Oil for frying (I use canola)

I halved the potatoes and onions and threw them into my food processor using the cheese grater tool. If you don’t have a machine, use a box grater. Then I strained the potatoes and onions, getting as much water out as possible. Stir into the potatoes/onions: matzo meal, salt and eggs.

Heat a frying pan with oil – get it nice and hot – then drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan. Turn once and enjoy golden brown latkes. Service with apple sauce and sour cream. So easy and so delicious!


Here’s some latke trivia to reflect upon as you enjoy your celebration.

Why do we eat latkes on Hanukkah? On Hanukkah, we eat food fried in oil – latkes and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) – to commemorate the miracle of the oil lasting eight days.

What is a latke? A latke is a crisp, fried Jewish potato pancake, with eggs, onion, matzo meal and seasonings.

What’s the best potato for a latke? Your basic Irish russet potato will give you the best results.

Did the Maccabees eat potato latkes? The Maccabee soldiers didn’t eat potato latkes, as potatoes weren’t available until the 16th century. But they ate latkes made from cheese, vegetables, or fruits, brought to them on the battlefields.

Is a potato that healthy? Actually, it is. A typical potato is packed with nutrients – rich in riboflavin, iron, thiamine, and vitamin C. And a 6-ounce potato has about 110 calories and no fat or cholesterol.

What’s the best way to store potatoes? Keep them at room temperature and use within 10 days. Don’t refrigerate them; it turns the starch to sugar.

BONUS QUESTION: Where is Hanukkah mentioned in the Torah? It’s not; the holiday is only mentioned very briefly in the Talmud.



78 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2010 4:00 am

    This latkes recipe just sounds so simple and delicious. I will love to serve this for breakfast 🙂

  2. December 2, 2010 7:40 am

    I have never had this but it would be interesting to try!!

  3. December 2, 2010 7:49 am

    Those look delicious! I haven’t had latkes in years. I should get over my fear of frying and try this, you make it look so easy.

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 9:23 pm

      It’s actually really easy. I promise!

  4. December 2, 2010 7:49 am

    yours look pretty damned good…but not as good as my grandmothers!

  5. December 2, 2010 7:57 am

    I never thought of using Yukon Gold potatoes for latkes! Brilliant! Revising tonight’s dinner menu as I write this…

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! And Happy Chanukah!

  6. December 2, 2010 8:00 am

    ooh… these look delish!

  7. December 2, 2010 8:31 am

    Sounds delicious – just an added trick: if you have to make your latkes early, you can freeze them. Don’t drain them when they come out of the pan, just put them on wax paper to cool. Then freeze in a zip lock bag, and when you’re ready to serve, put them on a cookie sheet in a 425 oven. They’ll get crispy and bubbly, just like when you made them. Happy Chanukah!

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 9:28 pm

      This a fantastic tip! Thank you!

  8. December 2, 2010 8:52 am

    I HEART LATKES! I spent a few Chanukah’s at my Jewish friend’s house and I even “fake went to the bathroom” to hide in there and eat a few secret extra latkes.

  9. December 2, 2010 8:58 am

    I love any excuse to eat a food fried in oil! I blog from Haiti, where fried plantains are a part of almost any meal! They might just make a gread food for the holidays, too! Folks are always thankful for food and the oil to fry it in, especially from my tiny corner of the globe!

  10. December 2, 2010 8:58 am

    Thank you for this fine recipe! Only problem I have is what kind of potato is Yukon Gold? Are they waxy or floury? I need to translate them into something available in Germany.


    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 9:31 pm

      Thanks for visiting. I’d say they’re more waxy than starchy. They do look gold and I think they have a richer taste than your basic white potato. Good luck!

  11. December 2, 2010 9:02 am

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be trying it!
    As a gentile, I miss my boss from years ago who used to invite everyone to a holiday staff party at her home and make the best latkes for everyone! It was a huge mess in the kitchen, but made you feel at home. I couldn’t get enough of them. Thanks for bringing back the memories…

  12. December 2, 2010 9:31 am

    Thanks for all the good info on Chanukah and potatoes.

    Happy Chanukah from one of the tribe.

    I posted my recipe yesterday.

    The latkes were awesome.

    Kids played with the dreidels for about a minute but the “Apples to Apples” game was quite hilarious and turned out to be a good gift.Especially after imbibing a bit of holiday cheer beer (With the adults)

    Gotta love Chanukah…

  13. fireandair permalink
    December 2, 2010 9:39 am

    HOW do you strain them to get out all the water? I’ve never mastered this.

    • December 2, 2010 12:48 pm

      Put the shredded potatoes in a cheesecloth or tea towel and twist it over a sink.

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 9:38 pm

      Thanks for visiting my blog! I first put them in a pasta strainer. Then I ring them out in a cloth. It’s amazing how much better the latkes turn out by draining the water.

      • fireandair permalink
        December 3, 2010 10:49 am

        Rats, so there isn’t a way to do it without upper arm strength. 🙂 Oh, well. I wonder if running them through a juicer wouldn’t get all the water out? Might end up too dry, though.

  14. December 2, 2010 9:44 am

    Another reason to love the holidays. Are russet red potatoes a good choice for latkes?

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 9:38 pm

      Yes, Russets are great. In fact, that’s what I usually use. Thanks for visiting!

  15. December 2, 2010 9:56 am


  16. Fern Logan permalink
    December 2, 2010 10:00 am

    Thank you for the recipe reminder. It’s been quite a while since I made these. We aren’t Jewish but they are a family favourite, too. Also, thank you for the freezing idea.

  17. December 2, 2010 10:13 am

    Happy, happy Hanukkah, Leah!! Thank you for this great post, and recipe. I shared it with my Jewish coworkers, my family, and my boyfriend. I checked out your site, and you’re just like me! A corporate communications writer by day, who’s working on a book, and freelancing for magazines on the side (I’m a former newspaper reporter). AND JEWISH! Loves photography, food, and writing. =) Love, love, love your blog, and your VOICE. Just subscribed.

    You might enjoy the recent post I wrote, “My Jewish Cat and the Art of Guilt.” It’s the second most recent one, was Freshly Pressed a couple of weeks aho. By reading your post here, you might identify with its humor. 😉

    Again, Happy Hanukkah!
    Shari Lopatin

  18. December 2, 2010 10:30 am

    Can you do these with shredded apples? I saw that on another blog, but I don’t know about that. I’m not a fan of hot fruit, but a hot root, like a potato sounds po-tasty!

  19. December 2, 2010 10:36 am

    Hi Leah. Congrats on freshly pressed.Happy chanuukah!!! Great post! Yesterday I posted similar post.
    I took an old tradition and made it my own, tell me what you think, Thanks,

  20. December 2, 2010 10:59 am

    Ahhh I remember my mama’s latke’s she made them taste so good!

  21. December 2, 2010 11:06 am

    Yummmmm. I love latkes. Yours look delish.

  22. December 2, 2010 11:58 am

    looks amazing! looks like hash browns but i will for sure have to try this recipe out.

  23. December 2, 2010 12:19 pm

    Yum! Makes me wanna try some…but the recipe calls for Yukon Gold yet in your list you mention Irish Russet is best…which one would be better?

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 9:56 pm

      Thanks for visiting my blog. I typically use the Russet and think they turn out great. But this Yukon Gold batch was delicious. Try both and see what you think.

  24. December 2, 2010 12:50 pm

    Hi Leah,
    Saw your blog on the WordPress homepage – congrats! Nice to read of another Leah blogging and enjoying food and life!
    Leah 🙂

  25. December 2, 2010 1:00 pm

    I love these! My family is not Jewish, but we make latkes every so often as a treat. I find that it doesn’t matter what kind of potatoes you use as long as the potato is “good”. You can substitute sweet potatoes and include a honey-butter dipping sauce for a new sweet treat. I’m a very picky eater and I was very surprised at how delicious the sweet potatoes were fried. =D

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 9:59 pm

      I love sweet potatoes too. And they’re so good for you. Thanks for visiting!

  26. Hobbes permalink
    December 2, 2010 1:11 pm

    chag sameach!
    I would love to eat some of those right now…

  27. villapina permalink
    December 2, 2010 1:36 pm

    D before just answered my question about that you can use sweet potato too…Happy Latkes Happy Hannukah

  28. December 2, 2010 1:47 pm

    Happy Chanukah! Thanks for posting this.

  29. December 2, 2010 2:37 pm

    Wow…okay, NOW I’m salivating. What a great post…filled with trivia, humor, and pictures of wonderful food. Great post…well deserved FP status!

  30. December 2, 2010 2:57 pm

    Yum yum yum!

  31. December 2, 2010 3:17 pm

    Very nice! Looks good!

  32. December 2, 2010 3:25 pm

    These look perfect!!!!

  33. December 2, 2010 3:29 pm

    This looks good, I havent tried this recipe yet but will definitely have it a go as it looks similar to the Swiss rosti that I love.


  34. December 2, 2010 3:48 pm

    WOW those look amazzzzzing! 😀 😀 😀

  35. Kathryn Coulibaly permalink
    December 2, 2010 4:27 pm

    These look fantastic – thanks for sharing. I love latkes and I can’t wait to try out your suggestions. I think food is a great way to teach my child about other cultures and religions (plus it’s delicious!). Happy Hanukkah!

  36. Kathy Ellenberger permalink
    December 2, 2010 4:57 pm

    What is a brown onion? Did you mean to brown an onion? Or did you mean what I would call an ordinary yellow onion.

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 10:04 pm

      A brown onion is the same as a yellow one. Your basic onion (aside from white or red). Thanks for visiting my blog!

  37. Kathy Ellenberger permalink
    December 2, 2010 4:59 pm

    I love Latkes and made some with zucchini in them this summer. Oh yummy. Also, with homemade chunky applesauce. Sigh.

  38. December 2, 2010 5:05 pm

    Yum! We just had some latkes tonight as well, and of course, they were Yukon Gold! That was some of the best advice I ever got. It changed my relationship with potato kugel entirely. Have a great Chanukah!!

  39. December 2, 2010 5:09 pm

    I have been craving potatoes lately and this will be a good way to satisfy that craving! I tried to make these once, a very long time ago. They came out okay, but I am ready to give them another try after seeing how good yours look. I think my oil was not at a high enough temperature. And serving with apple sauce and sour cream sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I am bookmarking it now!

  40. December 2, 2010 6:22 pm

    Did you ever try baked latkes? Same taste without the smell lingering in the kitchen…

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 10:11 pm

      No, and that’s a fabulous idea!

  41. December 2, 2010 6:44 pm

    Thanks for the insight. You know, my grandfather always puts his in the fridge.

  42. December 2, 2010 7:45 pm

    yummmm indeed! I haven’t made my latkes yet, but plan to later next week. Happy Chanukkah. Just one more question: how do you get that awful oil smell out of the house after all the frying?

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 2, 2010 10:10 pm

      Thanks for visiting my blog. I’ll let you know about the smell when it disappears from my house!

  43. December 2, 2010 9:47 pm

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed! You go, Girl!!

  44. December 2, 2010 9:48 pm

    never seen before, is this a kind of Tai Food?

  45. December 2, 2010 10:17 pm

    Can’t go to sleep now, thanks! Too hungry!!! They look delish!

  46. December 3, 2010 1:41 am

    Looks delicious.
    If I have time I’ll try to cook this chanukah latkes. I’m sure my family will be happy if I’m going to cook for them. I will put this recipe on my journal so that I won’t be able to forget.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  47. December 3, 2010 2:42 am

    Very well written recipe. I can’t try this recipe as I am a pure vegetarian and don’t eat eggs.:( anyways congrats for being freshly pressed.

    • December 3, 2010 7:30 am

      You do know vegetarian is an ancient Indian word meaning “bad hunter”?

  48. December 3, 2010 2:53 am

    Mmmm…yum…quick and easy too! Is it permissible to eat Latkes at other times of the year as well? I’m not Jewish, but still…can’t be too careful :p

  49. December 3, 2010 3:11 am

    Yum!Yum! *I really appreciate that you mingled historical and clairification facts with the recipes. When I lived with a Jewish family in D.C., I totally enjoyed the borscht soup. Congrats on being FP!

  50. December 3, 2010 3:12 am

    sorry, in previous email spelled clarification incorrectly.

  51. December 3, 2010 5:51 am

    These look amazing! 🙂

  52. December 3, 2010 7:29 am

    Those sound so delicious and simple! Shalom! I will make some of those, for sure. I had not thought of the apple sauce and sour cream. stands with Israel, unlike the muslim in the Whitehouse.

  53. December 3, 2010 8:16 am

    Delicious latkes! How I love this time of year.
    Can’t wait to mix up my own batch… it’s already night 3, and no latke has been eaten in my house yet. This must be changed! 🙂

  54. December 5, 2010 8:11 pm

    Thanks for the great recipe. I just had a Latke Party and served this recipe to rave reviews. Even got the approval of my Jewish MIL. A Hanukkah miracle indeed.

  55. December 6, 2010 7:35 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us! I’m not Jewish, but I love Jewish food! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  56. September 19, 2011 9:25 am

    This is just the way my grandmother used to make latkes. I haven’t made them in a long time because we’re trying to stay away from fried foods, but seeing this recipe makes me think we could cheat once in awhile. I’m thinking that if we ate them with the applesauce, I wouldn’t feel as guilty as eating them with the sour cream. HA!

    • September 22, 2011 9:49 pm

      I think you’re entitled to splurge on a latke or two for Hanukkah. And you’re right — with apple sauce, it’s like a vegetarian dinner.

  57. December 19, 2011 5:32 am

    Can’t wait to make this recipe again this year! You should repost it 🙂 Happy Chanukah!


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