The key to crunch is to use the right potatoes – starchy ones are best so choose Maris Piper or King Edward. Basically any potatoes recommended for baking/roasting. For latke perfection, follow my six steps.
- Using a food processor with a grater insert or a box grater, grate the washed, unpeeled potatoes and transfer to a large bowl of very cold water. Halve the onion and grate it too. Add it to the potatoes. If you’re using a food processor, you can grate them together.
- Lay out a clean tea towel or muslin cloth on your worktop and lift the grated potatoes from the water with your hands — shaking off excess water.
- Place the grated veggies on the tea towel/muslin cloth. Pull the edges together to make a parcel and wring out the excess liquid over the bowl, squeezing as hard as you can. You want the mixture to be as dry as possible and you also want to save that liquid.
- Tip and scrape the veggies into to a large, dry bowl and add the eggs, matzah meal, salt, and pepper.
- Carefully pour off the potato water from the bowl they were in, keeping the white, powdery potato starch that will have sunk to the bottom. Add that starch to the potato mixture and stir the ingredients thoroughly to combine.
- Pour about 1 cm depth of oil into a large frying pan, and set it over medium heat. Allow it to get hot — test it with a cube of bread, which should turn golden in a minute. Any less and it is too hot.
- Scoop heaped tablespoons of potato mixture from the bowl and press down to release any more water. Flatten the mixture and carefully place it in the hot fat, about 2 cm apart. Do not overcrowd the pan as it will cool the oil down.
- Press the latkes with a fish slice to flatten them slightly then leave them to turn dark golden colour and crisp underneath (about 4 – 5 minutes) before flipping over. Cook for a further 4 – 5 minutes until the other side is golden brown and the latke cooked through.
- Transfer the cooked latkes to plates or baking sheets lined with kitchen towel and sprinkle with a little salt. If you are not serving them immediately or making a large batch, keep them warm in a low oven. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. You may need to top the oil up during the cooking process. Serve hot.
Get ahead: They’re simple to make but a lot of stages, so if you only want to go through the grating/frying process once, double the recipe and freeze them.
To freeze: Once the latkes are fully cooled, open freeze them on trays before placing in freezer bags or boxes. You can reheat them from frozen in a medium/hot oven (approx. 180°C fan) on a lightly oiled baking sheet for about 7 – 10 minutes. Or even in an air fryer.