My heritage has a couple of strains running through it that does not bode well for food. One half of my family is Jewish, while the other half hails from the UK. Neither have great food traditions, so you would think that I would be damned – at least as far as food is concerned!
If you think of Latkes as up-market hash browns, you can see why I like to make them all year round, Made from scratch, they can be made to be both crispy on the outside and melty-soft on the inside. It really is worth the effort, but involves what seem to be some contradictions. To help make them crispy, we are going to remove the starch. In order to make them soft and sticky, we are going to add it back in again. Wringing out the moisture is going to help the crispiness, but we are going to add in egg and pulped onion to add flavor and juiciness, as well as bind the final product.
It is all very easy if you have the right tools!
- 2 lbs Russets
- 1 large onion
- 1 package ramen noodles
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 tbsp dry potato starch
- Salt and pepper
- oil for frying
Shred the potatoes and fill the bowl with cold water. Allow to soak for about 30 minutes.
While the potatoes are soaking, grate the onion to a pulp.
Add the eggs.
Chop the ramen to the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs.
Wring out the potatoes in an old tea-towel.
You will wring out a surprising amount of water and white stuff – starch.
Combine all of the ingredients and stir to blend.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. You can use a piece of bamboo – in this case a chop stick – to test when it has come up to temperature. When it is hot, the bamboo will begin to bubble.
Place mixture into the oil and allow to fry until…
…crispy and brown, Allow second side to crisp…
Latkes are traditionally served with apple sauce. Sshhhhhh… keep this quiet, but they go really well with pork chops!