Potato Pancakes Recipe

If you grew up in a German or Polish family, you may have fond memories of your mother or grandmother’s potato pancakes. Most people think of them as a German dish served with applesauce, but there are a number of European countries besides Germany and Poland where the potato pancake is a staple. Austrians, Yiddish, Russians, and Irish alike enjoy their own take on the potato pancake recipe. In Germany and Austria they tend to be a cold weather dish, and that tradition has crept into this country, too.

Everyone who makes potato pancakes has their own version, but each traditional potato pancakes recipe are pretty much alike. This recipe came from my Polish grandmother, although she never really officially wrote down her ingredients and instructions. I watched her and then experimented with my own till I got it right. Most potato pancakes recipes are simple. The only trick to any potato pancakes recipe is making sure you get the oil hot enough to cook them just right.

Potato pancakes recipe ingredients:

4 large potatoes
1 yellow onion
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon of salt
2-4 tablespoons of flour
black pepper to taste
approximately 2 cups of vegetable oil*

*This measurement is “approximate” because you need whatever amount of oil that will be ¼-inch deep in the pan that you use.

1. Grate the potatoes and the onions as finely as you can. If you a food processor, use the grating attachment. This will save you a lot of elbow grease. When you are done, squeeze as much water out of the grated potatoes as you can. This will keep your batter from being too wet.

2. Stir in the egg and the salt and pepper. Add flour until the batter is thick.

3. Warm up the oil in the pan over high heat until it is nice and hot. The hotter the oil, the less greasy your pancakes will be. I usually test the oil by dropping in a bit of batter to see how quickly it cooks.

4. Drop two or three ¼-cup sized mounds of batter into the pan and flatten them with a spatula until they are about ½ inch thick. Turn the heat down to medium-high and cook the pancakes till they are golden brown on the bottom. Then flip them and cook the other side. When they are done, put them on a plate covered with a paper towel so they can drain and place them in a 200-degree oven until all of the pancakes are cooked.


Here are some variations on this easy potato pancakes recipe you might want to try.

1. Try sautéing the onions first and then combining them with the grated potatoes. You can even add a minced garlic clove while cooking the onions for a little different taste. If you cook your onions, add the salt and pepper to the onion mixture in the pan.

2. For cheese lovers, use this same recipe and add a cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Some people put ¼ teaspoon of baking powder in their potato pancake batter so that they rise a little bit as you fry them.

31.01.2010. 10:54


janet 14.11.2011. 19:44

HELP.....my potatoe pancakes tasted tasteless...what did I do wrong...could it have been the potatoe itself....?

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