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Chef John's Classic Potato Pancakes

Rated as 4.61 out of 5 Stars

"The one and only way to not get perfectly crispy potato pancakes is to not squeeze them properly. More than half the procedure was dedicated to grating, soaking, draining, and squeezing the potatoes. If you don't thoroughly squeeze all the liquid from the potatoes, the pancakes just won't crisp up as well. Top with thinly sliced smoked salmon, sour cream, and fresh dill."
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45 m servings 315
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. Place potatoes and onion into a large bowl and pour enough cold water in the bowl to cover by several inches. Let rest until potatoes and onion are completely soaked, 20 to 30 minutes. Pour potato mixture into a colander, rinse, drain, and squeeze repeatedly to remove all moisture.
  2. Whisk eggs, flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Mix potato mixture and egg mixture together in a large bowl with a spatula.
  4. Heat 1/4-inch oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, drop large spoonfuls of potato batter into hot oil and flatten with a spatula to about 1/2-inch thick. Cook until the edges of pancakes are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, flip pancakes, and cook until golden brown and crispy on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Repeat cooking process with remaining batter.


  • Cook's Note:
  • Cover the bowl of pancake batter with plastic wrap while pancakes are cooking to prevent batter from browning.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 315 calories; 8.3 52.1 9.3 93 633 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 27
  1. 33 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

These are great potato pancakes aka Latkas. I used 4 large russet potatoes, about 2 pounds. Water and starch are the enemy of crispy potatoes - here are a couple of tips. Peel and place the po...

Most helpful critical review

though very tasty these are just way way way to greasy... I used a lot of kitchen paper to soak up the oil and it still was too greasy to eat! I don't know if I did something wrong or not...

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These are great potato pancakes aka Latkas. I used 4 large russet potatoes, about 2 pounds. Water and starch are the enemy of crispy potatoes - here are a couple of tips. Peel and place the po...

and if all else fails, grab your waffle iron and a bag of tater tots. Spray with Pam, lay them out and close the waffle iron. Cook about 10 min. Amazing, crunchy and pretty too.....

Fantastic recipe. Put in the proper time & effort to squeeze as much of the moisture out as you can - you will be super impressed with the results! 5 stars.

My family recipe for potato pancakes/latkes uses the potato starch. I use a clean dish towel and put half of the onion potato mixture in it and twist the towel over a bowl of cold water. After s...

3/15: very good followed exactly except much less onion. 12/16 update: 5 lbs yukon gold, so doubled the other ingredients except onion. use shredding blade of cuisinart. soak shreds in water 3...

Thanks Chef John. So happy to see an authentic recipe for potato pancakes. My Polish mom made these every Friday for dinner and I make them at least once a month for my family. Wonderfully cri...

This turned out great for my first try at potato pancakes! I used a method recommended in another recipe to squeeze the water out after soaking: put a handful at a time in the middle of a clean...

I tried this recipe because it is from Chef John, thank you very much it was great! Crispy on the outside and throughly cooked from the inside, the only thing I added was little bit of cheese fo...

I'm a 63 yr. old novice cook . I followed the recipe exactly to the best of my very limited ability and it turned out great. My grandmother made these a lot when I was a kid and these were as go...