Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 19, 2010 01:00 PM

potato pancakes

How do you make potato pancakes? How do you eat them like a potato or a pancake? My mother used to make them with leftover mashed potatoes and we ate the like a fried potato, but I hear the is a more pancake like version that is eaten with butter & syurp

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The ones I make are those mashed-potato things, which I dearly love with gravy, or a couple of eggs, or (quiver!) both. I do want to make some latkes, which I've tried two frozen versions of: one homemade-style, whose brand I do not remember, and those triangular Empire Kosher ones from Canada, which I very much prefer. There are also some brilliant things served at Square One Dining in Hollywood, very crisply-fried shredded potato that's almost like a delicious savory bird's nest. I really want to know how to do those.

    I think mashed potato could be incorporated into a batter with egg, milk and flour - I think I'd use self-rising - with just salt and maybe a pinch of sugar, if you wanted a flapjack. Incorporating mashed potato into dough for doughnuts or dumplings isn't that rare. Not to my taste, but there's no reason it shouldn't work.

    1. I make mine from finely shredded potatoes. After shredding, I put them in a colander over a bowl to let them drain. After squeezing out the excess water, I pour off the water being careful to keep the starch that settles in the bottom of the bowl.. I scrape up the starch and mix it back into the potatoes. I mix a beaten egg or two (depending on how much potato I shredded), a small shredded onion, and a half cup or so of flour. Sometimes I also mix in some shredded cheese. Adding the flour is a bit like mixing cement. Add a little at a time until the excess moisture is absorbed.

      I make patties and fry them in a bit of oil in a cast iron skillet or do them in my Griddler (doing both sides at once).

      This recipe is very flexible. I've used the following alone or in combination with each other: potatoes, carrots, zucchini, cabbage, parsnips, and turnips. BTW - I NEVER peel any of these veggies before shredding.

      5 Replies
      1. re: al b. darned

        I like that procedure a lot, and will give it a run or two. I will however peel the potatoes. A potato expert, writing in Smithsonian magazine about thirty years ago, said that if there's any part of a potato we should not eat, it's the skin. I've adhered to his advice ever since.

        1. re: Will Owen

          if there's any part of a potato we should not eat, it's the skin.
          That's a new one on me. If that were the case, I should have been dead years ago. I cut out the eyes, but I haven't peeled a veggie since my Navy days...back when they had wooden ships.

          Just to be sure, tho, I Googled this question:

          Is it safe to eat the potato skin ?


          "The skin of the potato contains the majority of the potato's fiber, and many of the nutrients (especially vitamin C) are located close to the skin. Wash the potato thoroughly, cut away green discoloration and/or sprouts (these may be toxic !) and enjoy your potato with the skin on."

          Other hits said basically the same thing. WHEW!!

          1. re: al b. darned

            Having lived an an area of potato farms, which were sprayed literally twice a day sometimes, i only eat organic potatoes and have stopped eating the skin in restaurants. But I always use the skin at home .

        2. re: al b. darned

          Do you find one potato better than another for this recipe? I've got Yukon Gold and small Red Potatos...I'm thinking of trying the reds, but not sure.

        3. My father used to make the mashed potato pancakes and they were good. I've played around trying to recreate them, and this is the closest I've come.

          Try 1 cup each of milk, mashed potato, and AP flour, about 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and a shake or two of salt.
          Break 4 eggs and separate yolks from white.
          Beat the yolks together and mix into the mashed potato.
          Mix the dry ingredients together.
          Slowly add dry ingredient and milk to the potato/egg yolk mix.
          Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the batter.

          Ladle into warmed skillet over medium low to medium heat, and cook until golden brown on both sides, turning only once.

          Serve with syrup and butter, one or two eggs to order, and some bacon, sausage, or ham.

          1. Folks are talking about two different things here. There's what my mother called "mashed potato patties" made from leftover mashed potatoes. Then there's what I understand to be potato pancakes, made from shredded raw potatoes.

            I was first introduced to potato pancakes at a long-gone place in Silicon Valley called the German Beer Garden. The pancakes were thin and very crisp and served with applesauce. A big white bratwurst sat alongside, along with a scoop of sweet and sour red cabbage. It was one of the best things I've ever had. A large mug of beer was the right accompaniment. Every once in a while I recreate this menu, to much applause.

            While living in Germany, I rarely came across potato pancakes - they seem to be more of a standard German-American restaurant thing.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sharuf

              Dear Sharuf,
              I think like a lot of things...potato pancakes might be regional in Germany. They are very big in Cologne and some of the best are sold outside of the main train station (near Cathedral entrance). They come with applesauce...I'm sure you could get the bratwurst and beer inside! Lots of old-fashioned German places have them--especially the brewery restaurants. They are great, aren't they!?

              1. re: Sharuf

                Potato pancakes are very common in the Cologne area. You can get great ones at a stand right outside of the main train station.

              2. I had a Cuisinart with the 1/8" matchstick blade. Sadly, my employees wrecked it. After 13 years. Those tiny matchsticks became potato shreds which became the best potato/leek latkes I've ever made in my life.

                Nowadays, I shred the potatoes on a mandoline with a very fine corrugated blade (I have a sous chef chiffonnade the leeks) and just add a tiny bit of flour and the requisite baking soda and I fry in soy oil if I'm being good; duck fat if I'm being bad...

                My grandmother grated them on a box grater and bound hers with plenty of buttermilk and egg. They were indeed pancakes, instead of the "potato patties" I describe above.

                1 Reply
                1. re: shaogo

                  When I was growing up in the '50s my mother (a Nebraska farm girl) frequently made potato patties from leftover mashed potatoes (She'd make extra on purpose). She just mixed a couple eggs in with the mashed potatoes and cooked 3" patties on an oil-coated griddle. We ate them as a dinner side dish with butter and jam