Here's my tried-and-true recipe for vegan latkes (potato pancakes, a mainstay for Hanukkah celebrations), in which the grated potato is held together with oatmeal in place of the customary eggs. For a gluten-free version, quinoa flakes work splendidly. A small amount of grated carrot adds extra color and flavor. Adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. This recipe makes 3 to 4 dozen latkes, depending on size.
Vegan Latkes (with Gluten-Free and Baked Variations)
- ¾ cup quick-cooking oats or quinoa flakes see note
- 6 medium-large potatoes grated (see note below recipe box)
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1 medium onion grated
- ½ cup matzo meal or ½ cup additional quinoa flakes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Safflower or other high-heat vegetable oil for frying
- Applesauce homemadeor purchased
- Vegan sour cream homemade or purchased, optional
- In a heatproof bowl, combine the oats or quinoa flakes with 1 ½ cups boiling water. Stir and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
- Use a food processor to make the grating of the potatoes, carrot, and onion, much easier and quicker!
- Combine the grated potato, carrot, and onion, and matzo meal in a mixing bowl. Stir in the oatmeal, then season with salt and pepper.
- To fry: Heat just enough oil to coat the bottom of a large, nonstick skillet or griddle. Drop enough potato batter to form 2 ½- to 3-inch pancakes. Fry on both sides over medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp (alternatively, see baked variation following).
- To bake: See Baked Latkes variation below recipe box.
- Drain briefly on paper towels and place in a covered container to keep warm until serving. Serve warm with applesauce and the optional sour cream.
For the potatoes, use golden or red-skinned. Peel them or not; if leaving unpeeled, use organic potatoes and scrub well.
Since the definition of "medium-large" potatoes can vary, if you find that the cooked oatmeal mixture isn't enough to give the grated potatoes a nice even coating (or if the latkes don't stick together), cook a little more oatmeal or quinoa flakes, starting with ¼ cup additional grain and ½ cup additional boiling water.
And of course, use the quinoa flakes as the gluten-free option, both in place of the oatmeal and the matzo meal.
Sweet potato or zucchini latkes:Replace one or two of the potatoes with sweet potato. Or, replace one or two of the potatoes with one or two medium zucchini.
Baked latkes: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Stir 3 to 4 tablespoons of high-heat oil such as safflower into the potato mixture. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Use a round ¼-cup measuring cup to drop the potato mixture onto the parchment, then flatten lightly with the bottom of the measuring cup. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom, then flip carefully with a spatula. bake for 10 to 12 minutes longer or until the golden-brown on the second side.