The One Trick You Need to Make Better Latkes

Your mother and grandmother were wrong.

Have you always dreamed of a latke hotline where you could ask your Hanukkah cooking questions? Well, it’s here! This Hanukkah season you can actually TEXT US your cooking questions. Sign up here and The Nosher’s Shannon Sarna will answer any cooking, baking or entertaining questions you have.

Generations of Jewish mothers have taught us that when making latkes, you must wring out as much liquid as possible after grating the potatoes in order to make great latkes. So after mixing the grated potatoes, onion, egg and matzah meal, we get to squeezing.  Then we squeeze some more. And then right before frying, we squeeze one last time for good measure.

For more Hanukkah recipes, click here and here!

But what if I told you all those generations of moms and bubbes were wrong? Sit down before you hurt yourself and just listen.

Last year I had the great fortune to spend a morning frying up latkes with Michelin-star chef Bill Telepan of NYC’s famous Telepan restaurant. And while frying, he gave me a few of his secrets, which included, not squeezing out all the liquid.

latkes frying

I was skeptical, but hey I don’t own a Michelin star rated restaurant, so I went home to test out his method and recipe, which also included a high ratio of onion to potato.

And lo and behold, the chef is right. If you leave some of that starchy liquid in the mix, you will be amazed how creamy and moist your latkes will turn out. Even my father, an excellent latke-maker, was impressed.

So yes, you should still squeeze out some of the liquid, but don’t kill yourself wringing it all out. Still skeptical? Give it a try and let us know what you think.

hand with latkes

Keep on Noshing

What is a Latke?

Pronounced either lot-key or lot-kuh, the origin of the word is Yiddish and means something along the lines of "little oily thing."

How to Make Perfect Latkes for Hanukkah

Our video shows you exactly how to make them crispy and golden.

Why Do We Eat Latkes on Hanukkah?

These delicious pancakes celebrate the miracle of the oil — but potatoes are a relatively newfangled tradition.