Making latkes gluten free is a lot easier than you might think. Most latkes are made with matzo meal or breadcrumbs to bind them, but these Gluten Free Crispy Yukon Gold latkes are totally grain free. They are every bit as delicious as traditional latkes, without a trace of gluten. Golden, crisp, fluffy inside and scrumptious. What’s not to love?
These crispy little potato pancakes are the ultimate crispy, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth latkes. Follow the steps carefully (don’t skip anything!) and you’re sure to end up with latkes that will please even the pickiest bubbe.
I made these mini latkes using Yukon Gold potatoes. They have a slightly creamy, rich flavor and they crisp up beautifully when fried. I omitted the matzo meal that is so often added to the potato batter. While breadcrumbs or matzo meal can be helpful, you don’t really need these ingredients to bind latkes together. Potato starch adds an extra bit of binding power.
One of the most difficult parts of cooking latkes is controlling the oil temperature. The best oil temperature for frying latkes is around 365 degrees F. If the oil becomes too hot, they burn. If the oil is not hot enough, they soak up too much oil and become soggy. An electric skillet with a temperature control gauge that will keep the heat even and steady. You can also use a candy thermometer to test oil temperature regularly throughout the process. When the oil is just right, it binds the latkes the minute they hit the oil.
The real secret to these latkes is the size. I only use about a tablespoon of potato batter for each latke. The smaller size allows them to cook up crispy and hold together better than larger latkes. Because they are small, they cook faster and require less oil. Their miniature size also makes them an irresistible bite-sized treat!
Make sure you grate these latkes fine with the small holes of a grater or food processor. Larger shreds won’t hold together as well, which may necessitate having to add more eggs, matzo meal or flour to the mix (don’t do that if you’re keeping them gluten free!).
I know latkes are a Hanukkah food, but you can easily make them kosher for Passover by using a Passover approved cooking oil (like extra virgin olive oil). Olive oil has a lower smoke point than peanut, so watch the temperature carefully to make sure the oil doesn’t become brown/smoky. Enjoy!
For more latke pro tips and other recipes, check out my post How to Make Crispy Perfect Latkes Every Time. You can also check out the video below.
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Food Photography and Styling by Kelly Jaggers
Gluten Free Crispy Yukon Gold Latkes
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
- 2 medium onions
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon potato starch (optional)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)
- Avocado oil, peanut oil or grapeseed oil for frying (if making for Passover, use a Passover-approved oil with a high smoke point, like avocado)
- Before you begin making the latkes, place a wire cooling rack close to the area where you will be frying the latkes. Place a layer of paper towels below the cooling rack to catch excess oil.
- Peel the potatoes, then grate them using a hand grater or food processor shredding attachment with fine holes (small shreds).
- Place grated potato into a bowl and immediately cover with cold water. Let shreds soak for a few minutes to remove excess starch.
- Meanwhile, grate the onion using the same grater or attachment you used for the potatoes (fine holes for small shreds).
- Drain the potato shreds in a colander. Rinse and dry the bowl used to soak the shreds and set aside.
- Place drained potato shreds and grated onion in the center of a clean tea towel or multiple layers of cheesecloth.
- Wrap the shreds up in the cloth, twisting loose material to secure the bundle, and squeeze firmly to remove excess liquid from the shreds.
- Pour potato and onion into the clean, dry bowl. Stir the shreds with a fork to make sure the grated onion is evenly mixed throughout the potato shreds.
- Pour oil into skillet to a depth of 1/8 inch. Heat slowly over medium to about 365 degrees F.
- While oil is heating, use the fork to stir the beaten egg, dry potato starch, salt, and pepper into the potato shreds. Take care to make sure the egg and seasonings are fully mixed throughout the potato shreds.
- Scoop up a rounded tablespoon of potato batter and squeeze it firmly in your palm over an empty dish to remove excess liquid.
- Shape the batter into a rough disk.
- Place it gently into the hot oil. Use a metal spatula to gently press down on the latke to flatten it.The oil should sizzle but not pop when the batter hits it; if the oil jumps wildly or smokes, it is too hot. If it only bubbles weakly, the oil is not hot enough.
- Continue shaping the latkes in this way, using only a rounded tablespoon of potato batter for each latke. Fry in batches of 5 or 6 latkes at a time for 2-3 minutes per side until brown and crispy. Note: If your latkes aren't holding together, stir some potato starch into the mixture, 2 teaspoons at a time, until the batter "holds."
- Remove the latkes from the pan using a metal spatula and place them on wire cooling rack to drain.
- I recommend serving latkes fresh within 10 minutes of frying them, if your cooking schedule permits. If you need to make them ahead, fry them 2 hours or less before serving. After letting the latkes drain on the wire cooling rack, place them on an ungreased, unlined cookie sheet. Leave them at room temperature until ready to reheat. Place in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes (7 if using a convection oven) until heated through, just prior to serving. You can also freeze the latkes for future use; they reheat nice and crispy.