No one likes a soggy bottom.
And at Chanukah, there’s even more pressure to produce the loveliest latkes.
Follow my simple rules and they’ll be crisp and golden every time:
- Pick your potatoes: you need a starchy variety (think Maris Piper or King Edward) which will be floury and melt-in-your-mouth tender;
- Save the starch: it’s the powdery white stuff that sinks to the bottom of the bowl you soaked your grated potatoes in. (You soak them to stop them discolouring and can discard the rest of that water.) Add it to your latke mixture with the eggs, matzah meal and flavourings.
- Dry them out: you want to remove every last drop of water from the grated mixture. To do this, tip the drained shreds into a clean tea towel and SQUEEZE hard over a bowl or the sink. (If you keep this water there’ll be more starch to add back into your mixture.)
- Fry them right: Make sure your oil is the right temperature. It should be nice and hot – but not too hot or they’ll burn before you cook the centre to creamy, tender deliciousness. If you have a thermometer or deep fat fryer, you’re looking for 180 - 190°C. If you’re using a simple pan of oil, test it by dropping in a cube of bread. The ideal temperature will brown that cube in 60 seconds – no less. Keep checking with each batch.
- Salt sprinkle: As soon as they’re done, get them onto paper towel to soak up surplus oil and sprinkle them with salt. (That’s key to crunch.)
- Move fast: Finally — this shouldn’t be a problem — eat them hot! If you do have to make them in advance, crisp them oup in a hot oven for a few minutes, or re-heat them in an air fryer before serving.
Head over to my recipe for simple potato latkes and get the party started.