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an overhead shot of potato pancakes on a narrow wire cooling rack. two are stacked on top of each other, one sits alone. another is cropped just out of frame.

extra crispy scallion potato pancakes

Rebecca
I'm giving you the smallest possible batch here — enough to make 6-7 extra crispy scallion potato pancakes. Use the 2X or 3X button to scale this up for a party.
(If the videos in the instructions bother you, click the camera icon with the line through it under "instructions" to turn them off.)
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine German, Jewish
Servings 7 latkes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs russet potatoes (leave the skin on at least one of the potatoes)
  • ½ white onion
  • ½ cup scallions (thinly sliced whites and greens)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs (large)

for frying

  • cups chicken schmaltz (or vegetable oil)

Instructions
 

  • Line a large bowl with a clean floursack style dish towel or 4 layers of cheesecloth. Grate potatoes and onion into the center of the towel. Twist ends of the towel together to wring out as much liquid as possible.
    Set the liquid aside to give the starch time to separate — you'll need it later.
  • Transfer the grated potato and onion to a bowl. Add in scallions, baking powder, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix well.
  • When the liquid you drained from the potatoes and onions has separated, pour off the liquid layer on top. Leave the layer of starch in the bottom of the bowl.
    You may need to let the liquid sit for an additional 15-20 minutes to fully separate.
  • Add the potato mixture to the bowl with the starch on the bottom and mix until combined. The starch acts as a binder to hold the mixture together.
  • In a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat 1½ cups of chicken schmaltz or vegetable oil (about ½" of oil).
    When a shred of potato dropped into the oil instantly bubbles and sizzles, the oil is hot enough.
  • Tightly pack potato mixture into ¼ or ⅓ cup measuring cup, pressing out any excess liquid.
  • Carefully drop it into the oil. Use the back of the measuring cup or a spatula to flatten the mixture into a slightly larger disc.
  • Fry each pancake until deeply golden brown (4-6 minutes per side). Remove finished pancakes to a paper-towel lined cooling rack for 2 mins, then transfer to a sheet pan in a 200°F oven to stay warm.

Video

Notes

  • If you're nervous around hot oil you can scoop the potato mixture onto the surface of a wide flat spatula, then dip the end of the spatula in the hot oil at an angle and use another spatula to slide the scoop into the oil and flatten it. 
  • If your first potato pancake has trouble holding together in the pan, you may want to stir 1 tablespoon flour into the remaining mixture before making pancake number 2.
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us how it was!