Variegated Spiced Latkes

November 19, 2010
2 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

With a decade of experimentation making latkes, my favorites are made from a combination of russet potatoes, sweet potato, parsnip, yellow onion and fresh ginger. I like the addition of fresh milled pepper and fennel. Peanut oil is best for frying these if you want that golden crunchy brown on the outside without such fear of charring. If you have allergies, you want to use a substitute oil with a high smoke point. Of course there is always schmaltz; I probably shaved years off my life using a goose fat version, for frying, while I lived in Germany, but I am staying away from that now. I also love serving these with sour cream and homemade applesauce. If you have kosher company, (or are kosher) you can't mix sour cream with the use of animal another good reason to stay away. - Sagegreen —Sagegreen

Test Kitchen Notes

We love the lacy, tangled appearance of these deep golden latkes. The mix of sweet potato, unpeeled Russets and parsnip keeps the pancakes from being stodgy, and the fennel and fresh ginger tickle your tongue in the most pleasant of ways. It may seem like Sagegreen calls for an awful lot of flour, but there's no trace of that raw flour taste once these guys are fried. These latkes are great with sour cream and applesauce, but they're also pretty addictive with nothing more than a shower of fine sea salt. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 sweet potato, pared (about 1 cup)
  • 1 parsnip, pared (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 yellow onion (@1/2 cup)
  • 2-3 russet potatoes (or yukon gold) (@2 cups)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated (@1 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh milled ground fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh milled black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 ounces flour
  • peanut or other high smoke point oil
  • homemade applesauce for serving
  • sour cream, fage, or creme fraiche for serving
  1. Hand grate the sweet potato, onion, and parsnip using the large holes into a large bowl first. I think hand grating is the only way to go for these.
  2. Wash and scrub the russet potatoes very well, leaving the skins on. Remove any imperfections. Grate these last into the bowl with the other vegetables. Add the salt, pepper, fennel, and ginger. Let rest a few minutes.
  3. Using a colander (or cheesecloth if you prefer) wring all the excess moisture from the mix. Repeat, then return to the bowl. You can also squeeze handfuls of the mix in your hands to help.
  4. Mix in the beaten eggs and flour.
  5. Generously coat the bottom of a heavy pan with peanut oil (or other suitable oil). The oil need not be deeper than 1/8 inch, if even that. If you prefer thicker latkes, then you might have up to1/4 inch oil. Heat to medium high until a drop of liquid would sizzle in the pan.
  6. Working in small batches ladle the mix to the heated pan to form 5-7 latkes with about a 3 inch diameter and about a 1/4 inch thickness after pressing down gently on the mix with a spatula. Fry each one on one side until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side until golden. Try to keep the depth of oil as low as possible, but make sure the vegetables cook through- soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Drain on paper towels. You should have 15-20 latkes from this recipe.
  7. Serve warm with generous dollops of sour cream and preferably homemade heirloom applesauce.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rachel Sperber
    Rachel Sperber
  • 1172 cook
    1172 cook
  • Sagegreen
  • Erin Paup
    Erin Paup
  • micki barzilay
    micki barzilay

134 Reviews

Summer +. December 2, 2018
I have made this recipe a number of times and keep coming back to it, delicious! I love sneaking in different forms of veggies and I love the ginger. I don't really understand the traditionalist comments - this is clearly a variation and a great one at that! The only edits I make are food processor shredding (with an attachment top on mine..) of the veggies because I'm lazy and it works great. I also sub GF flour blend for the flour with great results! Thank you for sharing @sagegreen!
Sagegreen December 2, 2018
Thanks so much. It’s the perfect time to make these, too!
TFried November 26, 2013
I'm going to try these tomorrow for Thanksgivikkah, but my MIL is gluten free. Any thoughts/has anybody tried making these with a gluten free flour substitute? Anything I should keep in mind? Anything else I need to add to replace all the gluteny goodness?
Summer +. December 2, 2018
Hi! I always sub a gluten free flour blend when making this and get great results!
Rachel S. December 20, 2012
We enjoy trying different kinds of latkes so I decided to give these a try. Honestly, they were ok but I won't be making them again. One person felt they were an Indian food inspired latkes. I love ginger but I discovered not in my latkes. I guess I'm a traditionalist because my favorite continues to be the latkes I grew up with - Kyeftes de Prasa (leek/potato latkes) - I'm of Sephardic heritage. Thanks for something new to try!
Sagegreen December 25, 2012
Thanks for giving this a go. Your leek and potato combination do sound classic.
1172 C. December 22, 2011
I made these last night for Hanukkah and they were a big hit! Thank you.
Sagegreen December 22, 2011
So glad you liked them. Thanks for sharing!
Sagegreen November 14, 2011
Opps. I wanted to add Hanukkah as a category for this recipe, but guess it needs to be done by the editors now.
hardlikearmour November 14, 2011
Since it's a winning recipe you can't edit it, even to add tags. I'm sure if you e-mail the editors they would gladly add Hanukkah as a tag!
mboerner October 3, 2011
Ginger with latkes? What happened to authentic taste?
TiggyBee October 3, 2011
mboerner, you need to try these, because they're really delicious! I've made them a few times and they never disappoint.
Bevi October 4, 2011
Scroll down to see Sagegreen make this recipe on a cooking show filmed in her local area.
Sagegreen October 4, 2011
Thanks, folks! You know if you didn't want the ginger, you could simply leave that out, or use less, as Bevi suggests. But I happen to like results of the blend of vegetables and spices in this recipe and am really happy others have too! Of course, an authentic basic latke recipe is a classic to savor.
mboerner October 3, 2011
Ginger with latkes? What happened to authentic taste?
Bevi October 4, 2011
I also made these. They ARE really delicious. You can also decrease the amount of ginger you use.
Erin P. May 8, 2011
I made these with the sweet and spicy horseradish sauce,, and they were a smash hit! Soo good Sagegreen!

And Thanks food52 for a great food site!
Sagegreen May 8, 2011
Thanks so much flavorfarm. What a great combination you made with the horseradish recipe. I will have to try that out, too.
LloJo January 20, 2011
Cool video!!!! Reminded me I need to make these again. So nice to see you!
Sagegreen May 8, 2011
Many thanks. EDL!
Sagegreen January 19, 2011
Here is a link to a video from a local TV show where we created these live on January 19, 2011 with Channel 22 Mass Appeal under their taste appeal segment:
Sagegreen January 20, 2011
oops, here is the link:
Sagegreen January 20, 2011
micki B. December 11, 2010
Congratulations...Hopefully you received the e-mail I sent you 52 is so much fun is'nt it...Have a happy holiday. Best, Micki
Sagegreen December 11, 2010
Yes, thanks, Micki. It has been fun to get know you better through this site, too. I remember first falling in love with your snowflake plum soup that is so beautiful. Have enjoyed our email as well. Happy Holidays!
adamnsvetcooking December 10, 2010
YaY!! Sage:)
Sagegreen December 10, 2010
Thanks, adamsvetcooking! Good luck to you with the end of the term, too. Busy time!
ChefJune December 10, 2010
Congrats on the win, Sagegreen. I love this recipe. I think next year I will use your ingredients with my food processor method for my latkes. In fact, I might not wait for next Hanukkah to give them a try.
Sagegreen December 10, 2010
Thanks, ChefJune. I have never tried using a food processor for latkes. Please let me know how it works out if you do. Actually, I do not even have a food processor, only a blender!
ChefJune December 11, 2010
hahah! and I don't have a blender! The food processor grater makes the shreds long and lacy. A blender would liquefy them.
Sagegreen December 11, 2010
LOL. That's why I stick to the old fashioned box grater!
vvvanessa December 9, 2010
congrats and yum!
Sagegreen December 9, 2010
Thanks, vvvanessa! Love your mint limeade.
ashleychasesdinner December 8, 2010
Congrats Sagegreen! I am so happy for you!
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, ashley_samuel_pierson. Cooking is a such stress reliever for me, too!
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Wow! I am so incredibly honored with this award. And the fact that this is the last night of Hanukkah, with all 8 candles, makes this a blessing! As my very dear Jewish friends are pointing out, this isn't bad for someone who isn't even Jewish! I have just finished teaching my last class of the term tonight. What a wonderful finish. I am so grateful to everyone for all your good wishes.
lapadia December 8, 2010
Congratulations, Sagegreen, how sweet it is, and thanks for sharing so many of your great recipe ideas!
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, lapadia....pretty soon it will be time to come back to earth.
TheWimpyVegetarian December 8, 2010
Congrats sagegreen!!! I'm sooo happy for you! You're such a wonderfully creative addition to this site and I love seeing and trying all that you come up with!! Love this one!
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, ChezSuzanne!
Stockout December 8, 2010
Congratulations, I knew you had a winner the first time I saw this recipe. I will put it on my list of things to make that is growing longer and longer by the week. I just love this site!
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks. This site is so easy to love, too!
TiggyBee December 8, 2010
Congrats Sagegreen!! How exciting!!
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, TiggyBee. I am almost giddy with excitement.