Potato pancakes are delicious and can be served as a meal, a side dish, or an appetizer. The key to crispy potato pancakes is squeezing the water out of the potatoes. A wet mixture will produce a soggy pancake. You can substitute the Yukon Gold potatoes for whatever potato you favor, but even a baking potato, which is a dryer potato, will have a great deal of moisture so make sure you follow the steps below to ensure a crisp potato pancake.
- 2 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and rinsed
- 1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and halved
- 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- About 2 cups vegetable oil
- Using a hand grater or food processor, shred potatoes, working over a large bowl of cold water or frequently transferring shredded potatoes to water. Shred onion and add to bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- Drain potato mixture; wipe bowl clean. With your hands, squeeze excess water from a large handful of the potato mixture, then pile it on a clean kitchen towel. Enclose potatoes tightly in towel and twist it to wring out remaining moisture. Repeat to dry all potatoes, using fresh towels if need. Return potatoes to bowl.
- Add eggs, flour, salt, and pepper to bowl and mix well.
- Pour 1/2 inch oil into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan (with sides at least 2 in. tall) over medium-high heat. When surface of oil ripples slightly, scoop 1/3 cup of the potato mixture into one hand, then turn it onto a wide spatula. Flatten mixture into a pancake about 1/2 inch thick. Gently slide each cake from spatula into hot oil, 3 to 4 pancakes per batch (do not crowd pan). Cook until edges of pancakes are crisp and well browned and undersides are golden brown (lift with spatula to check), about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until remaining sides are golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, then keep warm in a 200° oven while you cook remaining pancakes. Serve hot