We adapted this from Norene Gilletz and Harriet Nussbaum’s Second Helpings, Please! cookbook by the Mt. Sinai Chapter of the B’Nai Brith Women of Montreal.
Whether you’re a seasoned latke-maker or frying for the first time, keep these tips in mind.
Bigger isn’t better. To avoid greasy latkes, keep them small. This helps to create crunchy outsides and creamy centres Loosely pack mixture into a 1/4 cup (50 mL) dry measure or ramekin. Carefully drop into hot oil, then using a fork spread out and flatten to form a circle about 4 in. (10 cm) wide.
Squeezing & Mixing
To avoid soggy latkes, squeeze excess water from potatoes before mixing. This helps latkes stick together during frying. The drier they are, the crisper they will be.
For lacy edges, grate potatoes using large holes on a box grater or food processor. For a dense, smooth-edged latke, finely grate potatoes. If adding onion and veggies, do the potatoes last so they don’t oxidize (turn brown) quickly. For a fluffy latke don’t grate onion at all – just thinly slice, then mix in.
Choose high-starch potatoes so they won’t fall apart in the pan. Yukon Gold or russet potato latkes crisp up golden yet stay creamy on the inside.
Latkes are shallow fried and should be done in a frying pan. Fill a large wide frying pan with oil to come 1/4 to 1/2 in. (0.5 to 1 cm) up the side. If oil is too hot, outsides and edges will burn before centre is cooked. Heat oil between 250F and 325F (120 to 160C). A good test – drop a small amount of latke mixture into hot oil – if it turns golden within 1 to 2 min., the temperature is right. Fry in small batches – 3 to 4 at a time.