Add a spicy surprise to your latkes this year with a touch of kimchi.
The calendar turned to December yesterday and I’m having a seriously difficult time wrapping my head around the fact that it’s the last month of the year. How did 11 months fly by us already? Weren’t we just ringing in the new year? I think part of the reason that I can’t accept that it’s December yet is because New York is having an unseasonably warm late fall. Yes I know other parts of the U.S. have already begun wintering and we usually are too at this point – and don’t get me wrong here, I’m not complaining – it’s hard to get in the December mood when it’s 55 degrees out. I feel like I need to take advantage of this weather as much as possible because I know the January chills are coming.
Still with the month of December comes the holidays and the first to arrive is Chanukah! You know what that means right?
What did you think I was going to say presents? I’m past that point, I still like presents, don’t get me wrong. Feel free to send presents my way anytime but no Chanukah for me these days is all about the latkes.
My latke game is strong you guys, I’m going to come right out and say it. I may only end up making them a bunch of times during December (and perhaps a few times during the year when the craving strikes) but after years of practice they are quite perfect if I do say so myself.
The perfect latke (to me) needs to be golden brown on both sides, with crispy frayed edges but tender soft on the inside. You don’t want latkes that are too thin and crisp up all the way through, you want to taste some potato here. To achieve this, I like to scoop a good half cup of potato into my oil and only flatten after I flip. That is the perfect potato latke to me.
Once you’ve nailed that, then it’s time to have fun with flavors. I love them plain but it’s always fun to experiment too. My family has had latke-offs in the past and I’ve realized that for me, I like to keep most of the potato flavor with just a little extra touch in that. Whether it’s a fun topping or small amount of additional vegetable tossed in.
Why kimchi? Mostly because I had two jars sitting in my fridge, so that’s why and it’s delicious and kimchi is good for you! Okay fine, we are eating fried potatoes, there really is nothing good for you about latkes except the taste but kimchi and potatoes are a great pairing. It’s the perfect introduction for anyone who think they may not be a fan of this fermented dish. Chopped up finely, the kimchi folds into the shredded potatoes for surprise little pockets of taste here and there. Topped with sriracha sour cream, it’s a fun Asian take for Chanukah.
P.S. Keep scrolling past the recipe, I have more latke love for you today with a roundup of 14 recipes to keep you busy all 8 days of Chanukah!
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 heaping cups kimchi, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 3 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- Using a hand grater or the grater attachment on your food processor grate the potatoes and onion.
- Drain the excess liquid from the potatoes and onion and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Drain the liquid from the chopped kimchi and add to the bowl with the potatoes.
- Add the flour, salt, black pepper and baking powder to the bowl and combine everything together.
- Heat a large deep frying pan over medium heat and add enough vegetable oil to fill about 1/4 the way up the sides of the pan.
- Once the oil is hot, scoop about 1/2 cup size of potato mix from the bowl, squeeze any excess liquid, form into a patty and carefully add to the oil. Repeat with more potatoes to add to the frying pan. Make sure you don't crowd the pan when frying the latkes.
- Cook about 3-4 minutes on the first side, flipping when the potatoes are a dark gold brown and then flipping to cook for another 3-4 minutes. When you flip, use the back of the spatula to flatten the latke down slightly.
- Transfer the cooked latkes to a paper towel lined baking sheet and season with kosher salt. Keep the latkes warm in a heated 200 degree oven.
- To speed up the process, I usually have 2 frying pans going at one time.
- Once all the latkes are finished cooking, place the sour cream in a small bowl and mix with the sriracha before serving.
- Store any leftover latkes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and reheat in the oven until crisp.
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Love kimchi but never thought of adding to latkes – genius! Pinned to my Jewish Holiday Cooking board:) Happy Chanukah
It’s definitely a warm December in New York. I thought I seen it all but kimchi latkes? I am adding it to my to try list. Love that kimchi. ????
Thanks John! I love to have fun with my latke recipes and try to do something really unique every year. I figured, I had the kimchi in my fridge so why not?!