Recipe to Make Your Own Hanukkah Latkes
With the winter holidays coming up, I couldn’t resist sharing this traditional Hanukkah latke (potato pancake) recipe — vegan-style. Frying foods during Hanukkah is an ancient tradition, connected with the oil that was used to light the menorah during this “festival of lights.”
Here is my go-to recipe for making delicious latkes:
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
4 tablespoons water
4 cups peeled and shredded potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes)
6 scallions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Canola oil for frying
Nondairy sour cream and applesauce, as accompaniments
- In a food processor or blender, whip the flax seeds and water together, until it reaches a thick and creamy – almost gelatinous – consistency, about 1 or 2 minutes. This is going to be our “eggs,” which will help provide some binding for our potato pancakes. Set aside.
- Spread the grated/shredded potatoes on a kitchen towel or cheesecloth, and roll it up jelly-roll style. Twist the towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. You may need to do this again with a second towel to extract all the water. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add the “flax egg” to the potatoes, along with the green onions, flour, and salt. Use your hands to combine the ingredients and to get a feel for the mixture. You want it moist but not too wet.
- Heat some oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Using a tablespoon, scoop a large spoonful of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. To make a good medium-size patty, I use two tablespoons, but you can use one. Note: You are not trying to create dense patties, but the batter should stick together enough to form a patty and be flipped without falling apart. Slide a spatula underneath each latke while they’re cooking to make sure they don’t stick to the pan too much.
- Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. You may need to add more oil as you add more latkes to the pan. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil. Season with additional salt.
Tips from Colleen
- Shredded/grated potatoes will oxidize (turn a grayish/brownish color) pretty quickly, so I recommend having your green onions chopped and your “flax eggs” prepared before shredding the potatoes.
- Grate/shred the potatoes by hand, or use the special grating blade in your food processor, which is a lot easier and faster.
- Add additional shredded veggies such as carrots (or zucchini — but be sure to squeeze out the water) + herbs for my flavor, color, and nutrients.
Serve hot with nondairy sour cream and/or applesauce.
Yield: 15 to 20 latkes
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