Latkes: A Festival of Light

A platter of fried potato latkes is the centerpiece of nearly every Hanukkah celebration. They come in many variations--zucchini and garlic, apple, even ricotta. But nothing beats a great plain potato latke fried to a perfect shattering crispness. Last year, we published this potato latke recipe from cooking teacher and cookbook author Judy Zeidler. We loved the recipe so much we chose it as one of our Top 10 Recipes for 1997. One of its secrets: baking soda for lightness.


Perfect Potato Latkes

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes * Vegan


4 baking potatoes, peeled

1 large onion, grated

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 eggs


3 tablespoons flour

Pinch baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper


* Grate potatoes using food processor or fine shredder. Immediately transfer to large bowl and add onion, lemon juice, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

* Heat 1/8 inch oil in 4-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Ladle batter into hot oil with large spoon, and flatten latkes with back of spoon. Cook on 1 side just until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and cook other side. Turn once only. Drain well on paper towel and serve immediately, plain or with topping of choice.

1 dozen latkes. Each latke: 75 calories; 220 mg sodium; 71 mg cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.23 gram fiber.