Air Fryer Latkes are crispy and delicious! They’re the perfect way to make latkes for Hanukkah without oil.
Why You Will Love This Air Fryer Latkes Recipe
This Air Fryer Latkes recipe is not only a healthier option because it doesn’t need any oil, but it crisps the latkes to perfection. You don’t have to wait for the oil the heat up or clean up the grease splatters.
You also don’t have to worry about burning the oil and ruining the latkes because they will cook perfectly and evenly in the air fryer!
What is the difference between potato latkes and potato pancakes?
Basically, potato pancakes and potato latkes are the same thing but there are a few differences. Potato latkes have a few ingredients that the pancakes don’t.
Latkes will have any of these ingredients added to them: baking powder, matzo meal, and even milk. Crispy potato pancakes do not have these. Adding these few things can change the flavor slightly.
Additionally, the terms differ because of culture. The main difference is that “latkes” is a term often used in Jewish cuisine, particularly during Hanukkah, to refer to these potato pancakes, traditional Jewish foods.
“Potato pancakes” is a more general term used to describe similar dishes in various cuisines around the world. So, while the preparation is similar, the terminology and cultural context differ.
Ingredients you will need
Russet potatoes and yellow onion: potatoes are the main ingredient in traditional latkes, and the type of potato used can affect the taste and texture of the final dish.
Russet potatoes are a popular choice for latkes because they have a high starch content, which helps to create a crispy exterior. Yellow onions also add flavor and moisture to the latkes.
Egg and matzo meal: these ingredients act as binders to hold the latkes together. Matzo meal is a traditional ingredient in latkes and adds a subtle flavor, but can be substituted with other types of breadcrumbs or even flour.
Seasoning: you don’t really need to add seasoning to these, but I do like to add some garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper.
For serving: you’ll want to top them with fresh chives and have sour cream and apple sauce available for dipping.
How to Make Air Fryer Latkes
1. Prepare the potato mixture. Grate the potatoes and squeeze out the moisture using a clean kitchen towel or muslin cloth. Place the grated potatoes in a large mixing bowl with the eggs, matzo meal, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir and let rest for 5 minutes.
2. Make the Latkes. Use cooking spray or air fryer parchment paper to prep the air fryer basket. Add the potato mixture, about 1/4 cup per latke, into the air fryer in a single layer, flattening with a spatula to form a patty. Lightly spray the tops of the latkes with cooking spray and air fry for 8 minutes, flip, spray again, and cook for 4 minutes. The latkes will be golden brown and crisp when ready.
How to serve latkes
Of course you can serve your latkes the traditional way, with apple sauce and sour cream, but I highly suggest trying one of these creative combinations!
Latkes and caviar: my favorite way to serve latkes is with a dollop of Crème fraîche and caviar.
Smoked salmon latkes: add a shmear of cream cheese with a piece of smoked salmon, dill, and capers.
Greek inspired latkes: try topping your latkes with tzatziki, diced cucumber, and tomatoes.
Can you grate potatoes in advance for latkes?
Yes, you can grate potatoes in advance for latkes. To keep them from turning brown, store the grated potatoes in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
Drain and pat them dry before mixing with other ingredients and frying to make your latkes. It’s important to remove the excess liquid when you drain the potatoes. If there’s any extra water in the potato mixture, you won’t be able to get crispy potato latkes.
Can you cook potato latkes in air fryer?
I love making potato latkes in the air fryer. It uses less oil, making them even healthier, without sacrificing the taste or crispiness. It’s also much easier and faster to make the latkes in the air fryer.
What oil is best for latkes?
A neutral oil like olive oil or vegetable oil is best to use for latkes. You don’t want to add any flavor to them by using something like peanut oil or sesame oil.
What type of potato is best for latkes?
Russet potatoes are often considered the best choice for making a Jewish potato latke. They have a high starch content and a dry texture, which helps to make crispy latkes.
Their mild flavor also allows the other ingredients, like onions and seasoning, to shine. However, you can use other potato varieties like Yukon Gold if that’s what you have on hand. Just be sure to squeeze out excess moisture after grating them to achieve that crispy texture.
Tips and tricks for making air-fried lakes
- Use a grater. Grate the potatoes and onions finely for even cooking. A box grater or food processor with a grating attachment works well. I use the large holes of a box grater for the potatoes.
- Preheat the air fryer. If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheat setting, let it run for about 5 minutes before adding your latkes.
- Don’t use too much oil. While the air fryer uses less oil than traditional frying, lightly spray or brush the latkes with oil before cooking. This will help them become golden and crunchy.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Place the latkes in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure they don’t overlap. Overcrowding will cause the latkes to steam instead of crisp.
- Keep them warm in the oven. You can keep the finished latkes warm in a low-temperature oven (around 200°F) while you finish making the rest.
What to use to drain the liquid from the potatoes
To help pull as much water from the potatoes and onions as possible when making latkes, you can use a few different methods. A strong paper towel will work in a pinch, however, they are not the best method. To make the perfect air fryer potato latkes bites use these methods to remove as much moisture as possible:
- Cheesecloth: place the grated potato and onion mixture in a piece of cheesecloth, then gather the corners of the cloth and twist it to squeeze out the liquid. This method allows you to extract a significant amount of moisture.
- Clean kitchen towel: lay a clean tea towel flat on your work surface, place the grated mixture in the center, then gather the edges of the towel and squeeze out the liquid. This is similar to using cheesecloth and works well.
- Colander: place the grated mixture in a colander set over a bowl. Press down on the mixture with a heavy object, like a clean can or a potato masher. The weight helps to release the liquid.
More air fryer recipes to try
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Air Fryer Latkes
- 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- Grate the potatoes and onion using a box grater (large holes) or use the grating blade of your food processor. Transfer the grated potatoes to a muslin cloth and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
- Add the grated potatoes to a large bowl with the eggs, matzo meal, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the Air Fryer to 375F.
- Lightly grease your air fryer basket with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper for easy clean up. Add the potato mixture (1/4 cup per latke) into the air fryer in one single layer, flattening with a spatula to form a patty.
- Lightly spray the latkes with cooking spray on top and air fry for 8 minutes. Flip them over, spray with more cooking spray, and continue to cook for 4 more minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
- Garnish with fresh chopped chives and serve with sour cream and apple sauce.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket, working in batches will allow you to get crsipy latkes.
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