For a Special Chanukah: Caramelized Onion Latkes

Crispy exterior with a soft and satisfying interior, latkes are the Latkesquintessential Chanukah treat.

With the eight days of Chanukah (the Jewish festival of rededication and lights) beginning on December 8, we celebrate the miracle that the oil needed for the Menorah in the rededicated Temple lasted a full eight days and that the ensuing light triumphed over the physical AND spiritual darkness.

Using that oil as a starting point, my potato pancakes are layered with the flavor of deeply caramelized onions that intensify their fried (yet not oily) goodness.


Using my recipe below as background on technique, how might you make your own recipe? How about you:

Vary the potato?

  • Sweet potato, zucchini and carrot would be nice options

Play with your toppings?

  • Add wasabi to your sour cream for a Japanese touch
  • Use Indian spices such as cardamom and cinnamon to make an extra unique applesauce



  • 4 – Medium russet potatoes, grated
  • 2 – Large vidalia onions, sliced
  • 3 – Eggs
  • 3 tsp – Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp – Ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp – Baking powder
  • ½ cup – AP flour
  • 1 cup and 2 tbsp – Canola oil


  1. Preheat oven to 300* and line one baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack inside a second baking sheet
  2. Add 2 tbsp of canola oil and sliced onions (with a generous pinch of salt and pepper) to a large skillet over high heat. Once you hear a sizzle, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until onions are caramelized (soft, light brown and sweet). This could take up to 40 minutes – stir regularly and add a splash of water if onions begin to burn. Set onions aside in a large bowl and cool.
  3. Grate potatoes (I keep the skin on mine and grate in a food processor) – place grated potatoes in a clean dishtowel and squeeze out all the excess liquid
  4. In a bowl, combine the grated potatoes with the caramelized onions, eggs, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper
  5. Heat the remaining 1 cup of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and when hot (test it by dropping in a bit of the latke mixture – it should sizzle but not smoke) drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil and flatten with a spatula – flip after 2-3 minutes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side to ensure a golden brown color on both sides. In between batches, remove any stray bits of potatoes from the pan as they will burn.
  6. Transfer cooked latkes to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and then onto the second baking sheet with the wire rack and place it in the oven to keep these latkes warm while you finish cooking the rest
  7. Serve with sour cream or applesauce
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1 Response to For a Special Chanukah: Caramelized Onion Latkes

  1. Pingback: Spinach, Potato & Feta Latkes « Andrea's Garden Cooking


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