Potato Latkes

It’s hard to top the excitement of making latkes for Hanukkah! The scent of the potatoes frying in oil, the crackle as they brown AND the crispy texture and savory flavor. For us, latke making is the Hanukkah holiday wrapped up in one delectable sensory experience. We celebrate the holiday by cooking food in oil to remind us of the central miracle of Hanukkah, when the lamp oil lasted for eight days instead of burning out in only one. Make a lot of potato latkes! At our family gatherings there are never any leftovers. We even eat the crumbs.

When my daughter Lucy was 4 years old, she wanted to help me cook in our kitchen. And I was delighted to have her! Lucy’s Special Sauce became my favorite companion for my chopped liver recipe. This version is also the perfect condiment to serve with Potato Pancakes.

Watch the video below to learn how. 

10-12 Latkes


  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled & grated
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 onion, peeled & grated
  • 1 carrot, peeled & grated
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal or all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 16-oz container sour cream
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • pinch of salt


  1. Peel potatoes and onion and process with grating blade in food processor or grate by hand with box grater. Set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, beats eggs and add grated potato, onion and rest of ingredients. Add more matzo meal or flour if mixture seems too wet.
  3. Form 3-4” patties with your hands squeezing out any excess moisture.
  4. Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil on medium heat in sauté pan.
  5. Place patties down carefully in hot oil and let cook for 3-4 minutes on one side until you can see a little brown peaking out from underneath.
  6. Carefully flip latkes away from your face and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  7. Remove latkes from pan and place on paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil. Keep warm in oven on lowest setting until all latkes are cooked.
  8. Serve with apple sauce and Lucy’s Special Sauce garnished with chives or scallions.
  1. Mix ingredients and serve on top or on the side of the latkes.


Make ahead tip: You can freeze your latkes after you’ve cooked them. Place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined pan and freeze. Then put in a zip-top bag. When ready to reheat, take directly from freezer and place on cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Turn them over once to prevent burning.


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Nancy Reisz

I’m so excited to make some of these. My dear grandmother use to make them and also my mother. But I especially remember as a small child watching my grandma make them. So good!

Breaking Matzo

1 16-oz container sour cream
1 tsp cumin
pinch of salt


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