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Potato cakes

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When I was a kid, my mother used to make little patties out of left-over mashed potatoes and brown them in a frying pan. I loved them. I have tried to make them myself, but they get soft and runny. Does anyone know the proper way to prepare mashed potato patties?

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  1. i do this with left-over mashed a lot. could be your mashed potatoes are too soft, with too much liquid, to start. you need a fairly stiff mashed spud.

    otherwise, you can try binding with a bit of flour/cracker/matzoh or cheese. also try baking/broiling, instead of frying.

    1. You can thicken the mashed potatoes with egg and cracker crumbs. It helps to bind them together, too. I coat them with cracker crumbs so they brown nicely. You can add precooked chopped onions to them. You could add raw chopped green onions if you wanted a crunch.

      You could certainly add some herbs and spices. Thyme would work nicely. Even chili powder or smoked paprika would do well.

      1. My husband ate a Mexican version as a lenten dish while growing up called papas lampreadas. His mother added chopped tomato, green bell pepper, onion and sometimes dried shrimp powder to the mashed potatoes and then dipped them in well beaten eggs. She shallow-fried them in oil and didn't have problems with them falling apart. I suspect the dip in the egg helped hold the cakes together and I'm sure the mashed potato mixture was pretty stiff to start.

        1. A lot of Indo-Pak snacks/appetizers are made of seasoned mashed potatoes. They form into cutlets/tikkis very well, but they need bread crumb coating to prevent them from breaking apart when they hit the oil from shallow frying. You can do a dry bread crumb dip, or dip in egg wash (egg mixed with water) and bread crumbs, cornmeal, or whatever. Or dip in a wet batter like a pakora batter or some other type of wet batter. To bind the potatoes when they contain moisture, many people use a piece of white bread (Wonderbread style), or a spoonful of cornstarch, white flour, or bread crumbs (or both/all three) in the potato mash mix. I think perhaps in your case, a slice of white bread and a plain bread crumb coating would get you a good result.

            1. The answer is to have the leftover mashed potatoes cold out of the fridge. You could even form the patties from cold potatoes, and rechill them or place them in the fridge while the fat is heating. You can add leftover cooked rice to these, if available too. The fat should be hot enough to brown the potatoes quickly. If the cold leftover potatoes seem too soft for this procedure, I'd follow the previous advice about additions.