No Hanukkah table would be complete without a plate piled high with crispy, lacey latkes. But frying the perfect latke can be challenging. Nothing can dim your festive spirits quite like spending an hour grating potatoes and onions, only to end up with soggy, greasy latkes.
No more: You can fry the perfect latke, each and every time, by adopting a few tried-and-tested tips from online cooks. Here are our favorite tricks for frying golden, crispy latkes your whole table will enjoy.
Wring Out Your Veggies
Potatoes and onions contain a lot of moisture, and moisture equals mushiness. So you have to get rid of as much of that wetness as possible in order to make your laktes light and flaky. First, grate your onions and potatoes either by hand or with your food processor. Then, place the mixture into a cloth (you may need to work in batches if you’re making latkes for a big crowd). Finally, wring the cloth over the sink or a bowl. When your mixture feels dry to the touch, you’ll know you’re ready for the next step.
Use Matzo Meal
One secret to crispy latkes is to use matzo meals in your potato mixture. In fact, traditionalists claim it’s the only thickening agent that should be used in their preparation. The matzo helps bind your latkes together so that you don’t end up with potato pancakes falling apart in the pan. It also helps to ensure that your latkes are perfectly crispy each and every time.
Fry With Schmaltz, Not Vegetable Oil
Instead of using cooking oil, fry your potato latkes in schmaltz. This is the traditional Ashkenazi method for frying latkes, and for good reason: This rendered poultry fat will give your latkes a depth of flavor that vegetable oil simply can’t.
Try A Dash Of Instant Mashed Potatoes
Before you flip out: We’re not saying to replace the actual potatoes in your latkes with potato flakes, but we are suggesting you use a couple tablespoons in lieu of flour. Flour can make your latkes too chewy and heavy. So, try using dried potato flakes instead in the interest of bonding. The result is airy, crunchy latkes that will soar into your mouth.
Do you have any latke hacks that make this art form less intimidating?