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Add the vitamin c or lemon juice to a bowl (if using a box grater) or to a food processor, then grate the potatoes, add 1 teaspoon salt, mix well, and place in a colander over a bowl.
While the potatoes sit, cook the onions. Heat some olive oil on a griddle or in a pan, give the onions a good squeeze to bruise them a bit, then add along with a couple pinches of salt. Cook until golden brown and softened (about 12-15 minutes).
Mix the potatoes gently with your hands, squeezing out some excess water, they don't have to be completely dry and the salt will have pulled out a decent amount of water.
Carefully pour off the liquid in the bowl, but keep the starch that settles to the bottom. Add the potatoes back to this bowl along with the Lula spice, the cooked onions, and 2 tablespoons of potato flakes. Mix well. If the mixture seems very wet, add another tablespoon of potato flakes.
Heat a flat-top griddle, stove-top griddle, or two large pans over medium-high heat, and add some olive oil.
Now add ice-cream scoop sized blobs of of the potato mixture and press them flat (about 1/4 inch thick) with a spatula. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown, then add a splash of olive oil to the top of each and flip.
Cook for 4-5 minutes more. If you like them extra crispy you can lower the heat a touch and fry for another minute or two on each side.
• Pre-cooking the onions to remove moisture helps the cakes not fall apart and supplies deep flavor. Try a few other veggie add-ins using this method. I've had great results with a bit of spinach or shredded radish for example.
• If you like a fluffier cake (more approaching a traditional latke), try adding more potato flakes along with some water to the mix to make more of a batter. Fry in a pan in a 1/2-inch layer of neutral oil, then flip and fry until browned on both sides.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue
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