Potato pancakes are an Eastern European staple that are a comfort food in North America as well. Learn how to make them here.
Potatoes are one of the main ingredients in a Polish kitchen because they’re cheap and easy to store. That’s why so many classic Polish recipes we still make today – such as pierogis, dumplings and potato pancakes – include them.
Potato pancakes originated in Eastern Europe and are especially popular in Austria, Russia and Poland. They are still made the traditional way and I’m sharing my traditional recipe with a simple modern twist. No shortcuts here, but you don’t really need any since potato pancakes are super easy to make and are perfect for weeknight meals. Potato pancakes are flavorful and very tasty so be prepared for your family to ask for them often.
When you prepare them you’ll want to use the finest side of the grater (we like this one) because it will ensure you get just the right texture for the pancakes. However, be careful not to cut your fingers. You can alternatively use a food processor to mince up the raw potatoes. If it’s not getting them nice and fine, add the egg and even a drizzle or two of milk until it gets going.
Serve potato pancakes with sour cream or apple sauce. These toppings are traditional so you can even have them both.
- 1.5 lb. potatoes, peeled (about 5 medium-sized)
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/3 cup oil (or more for frying)
- Shred potatoes into a large bowl using the finest part of the grater (or use a food processor, adding the egg and even a drizzle of milk or water to get it going).
- Once potatoes are shredded, add the egg (if it hasn’t been added already), flour, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients well with a spoon.
- Preheat large skillet with about 2 – 3 tablespoons oil until very hot. Scoop in about 2 tablespoons potato mixture for one potato pancake. If you have room in the skillet make about 3 potato pancakes at a time. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 – 4 minutes on one side. Flip and cook until brown underneath, another 3 – 4 minutes.
- Remove from skillet and put on a plate lined with a kitchen towel to drain off excess oil.
- Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200°F oven while you cook the other pancakes.
- Add more oil to the pan and repeat the above process until all pancake batter is used. Add oil whenever it is needed.