Pho­to by Evan Sung

Pho­to by Evan Sung



Prepa­ra­tion time: 15 min­utes

Cook­ing time: 1 hour

Serves: 8

Pota­toes, which are a New World ingre­di­ent, did not enjoy wide­spread use in East­ern Europe until the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry. once the starchy tubers caught on, they were embraced with gus­to, and today these pota­to frit­ters, with ten­der, savory insides and crack­ly crusts, are the undis­put­ed king of Ashke­nazi Hanukkah celebrations.


4 lb (1.8 kg) rus­set (bak­ing) pota­toes, unpeeled,

scrubbed, and pat­ted dry

1 medi­um onion, peeled

2/3 cup (95 g) all-pur­pose (plain) flour

4 – 5 eggs, light­ly beaten

• ½ cup (25 g) fine­ly chopped fresh pars­ley (option­al)

1 table­spoon kosher salt

• ½ tea­spoon fresh­ly ground black pepper

• Veg­etable oil, for frying

• Sour cream or Apple­sauce (page 394), for serving


Line 2 large bak­ing sheets with sev­er­al lay­ers of paper towels.

Grate the pota­toes and onion on the large holes of a box grater. (Alter­na­tive­ly, cut them into quar­ters and shred on the shred­ding disc of a food proces­sor.) Work­ing in batch­es, wrap the shred­ded pota­to and onion in a tea tow­el or sev­er­al lay­ers of paper tow­el and squeeze out as much water as possible.

Add the shred­ded, squeezed pota­toes and onion to a large bowl along with the flour, 4 eggs, pars­ley (if using), salt, and pep­per. Mix until the ingre­di­ents are ful­ly incor­po­rat­ed. If the mix­ture looks dry, mix in the remain­ing egg.

In a large fry­ing pan, heat ¼ inch (6 mm) oil over medi­um-high heat until shim­mer­ing but not smok­ing. Work­ing in batch­es of 4 – 5, drop the bat­ter by the ¼ cup (55 g) into the pan and press gen­tly with a spat­u­la to flat­ten. Cook, flip­ping once, until browned on both sides and cooked through, 6 – 8 min­utes. Con­tin­ue until all of the pota­to mix­ture is used up, adding addi­tion­al oil to the pan if nec­es­sary and adjust­ing the heat if the latkes are brown­ing too quick­ly or not quick­ly enough.

Trans­fer latkes to the paper tow­els to drain. Serve imme­di­ate­ly topped with sour cream, apple­sauce, or both. Or, let latkes cool and store, tight­ly wrapped in plas­tic, in the fridge or freez­er. To reheat, arrange the latkes in a sin­gle lay­er on a bak­ing sheet and warm in a 400°F (200°C/Gas Mark 6) oven until crisp and warmed through, about 10 minutes.


Prepa­ra­tion time: 15 min­utes

Cook­ing time: 20 min­utes

Serves: 8

Fried Pota­to Latkes (page 184) topped with apple­sauce is a clas­sic Hanukkah pair­ing in Ashke­nazi house­holds. The sweet-tart fla­vor of the sauce bright­ens the oil crisped pan­cakes. It is no acci­dent that pota­toes and apples became cen­tral to the win­ter hol­i­day in East­ern Europe. Both ingre­di­ents store well in cold weath­er, when lit­tle oth­er fresh pro­duce was avail­able. This sim­ple ver­sion of the Hanukkah condi­ment is made from unpeeled red bak­ing apples, impart­ing a rosy blush and vel­vety tex­ture to the sauce.


3 lb (1.35 kg) red bak­ing apples, unpeeled, cored,

and cut into eighths

• ½ – ¾ cup (100 – 150 g) sugar

1½ tea­spoons ground cinnamon


In a large pot or saucepan, com­bine the apples and ⅓ cup (75 ml/​2½ fl oz) water. Cov­er and cook over medi­um heat, stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly, until the apples are very soft, 15 – 20 min­utes. Remove from the heat and let cool about 5 min­utes. If there is excess liq­uid in the pot, pour off all but a table­spoon or two.

Trans­fer the cooked apples to a food proces­sor and process, scrap­ing down the sides of the bowl as nec­es­sary, until smooth. Trans­fer the apple­sauce to a large bowl and stir in ½ cup (100 g) sug­ar and the cin­na­mon while it is still warm. Taste and, if desired, stir in up to an addi­tion­al ¼ cup (50 g) sug­ar. Serve imme­di­ate­ly or store, cov­ered, in the fridge for up to to 5 days, or in the freez­er for up to 3 months.

Leah Koenig is the author of six cook­books, includ­ing The Jew­ish Cook­book and Mod­ern Jew­ish Cook­ing. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Food & WineEpi­cu­ri­ousFood52, and more. She lives in Brook­lyn, New York, with her family.