Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Crispy Traditional Potato Pancakes

To get thin and crispy pancakes, squeeze out as much water as possible from the grated potato, omit flour or matzah meal as fillers, and gently flatten the pancakes on a very hot skillet. From Epicurious – September 1998 by Joan Nathan (Jewish Cooking in America)


  • 2 lbs russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 C chopped scallions, including the green part
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil for frying

  • Peel the potatoes and put in cold water. Using a grater or a food processor coarsely grate the potatoes and onions. Place together in a fine-mesh strainer or tea towel and squeeze out all the water over a bowl. The potato starch will settle to the bottom; reserve that after you have carefully poured off the water.

  • Mix the potato and onion with the potato starch. Add the scallions, egg, and salt and pepper.

  • Heat a griddle or non-stick pan and coat with a thin film of vegetable oil. Take about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten as best you can. Place the potato mixture on the griddle, flatten with a large spatula, and fry for a few minutes until golden. Flip the pancake over and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately.

  • You can also freeze the potato pancakes and crisp them up in a 350°F  oven at a later time. Makes about 2 dozen pancakes.

    Variation: If you want a more traditional and thicker pancake, you can add an extra egg plus 1/3 cup of matzah meal to the batter.