Zabar’s Latkes Recipe | saveur

latkes recipe

This classic crispy potato latkes recipe comes from Zabar’s, New York City’s beloved tasty shop. Do not mix your batter for too long and remember: the thinner the latke, the crispier the baking. Adjust the thickness of your potato pancakes to your liking by pressing them directly into the hot oil with the back of a fork.

This latkes recipe is an adaptation of the new book Zabar’s: a family story, with recipes, by Lori Zabar, published by Shocken. Text © 2022 Lori Zabar.

Can be seen in: “This 88-Year-Old Deli Is Still Where Jewish New Yorkers Get Their Latkes

Zabar’s Latkes

Hand grated and shallow fried to perfection.

Yield: makes 18 Latkes


35 minutes


  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered (about 10 oz.)

  • 4 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths (about TK lb.)

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt

  • 1½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼–½ cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Applesauce or sour cream to serve with it


  1. Use a grater or food processor with the fine grater blade to grate the onions; transfer to a colander placed over the sink to drain and discard the liquid, then transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the potatoes, then drain and press to extract as much liquid as possible. Add the drained potatoes to the bowl along with the onions, then stir in the eggs, salt and black pepper until well blended.

  2. Mix 1 cup flour, then slowly add more flour, a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is the consistency of thick oatmeal (you may not need all of it).

  3. Add oil to a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet to a depth of 1 inch. Cook over medium heat until oil is hot and shiny (about 325° on a deep-fry thermometer). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and set it by the stove.

  4. When the oil is hot, drop a scant cup of the mixture. Press down lightly with the back of a fork to form an even slat, about ¾ inch thick. Cook until bottom and edges of latke are deep golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Using a fork, metal spatula, or slotted metal spoon, turn the latke over and cook until evenly browned, 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to the lined baking sheet while continuing to cook the rest of the latkes. Serve warm or warm, with applesauce or sour cream on the side.