Russian-style Potato Pancakes


Hanukah ended just about two weeks ago. In addition to remembering the miracles of times long gone, it was an excuse to play with matches and make potato pancakes. The potato pancakes we make in my family are slightly different from the typical latkes you might find on other recipe sites, such as here and here. The difference between Russian potato pancakes, i. e. “draniki”, and the more common American and Western European recipes, is that the Russian recipe for draniki calls for finely grating the potatoes and onions, while the potatoes and onions are ground coarsely to make latkes. The effect that this has on taste is negligible. The texture, however, changes by quite a lot. Instead of the rough and stringy appearance of latkes, draniki are smooth and crisp on the surface, as well as soft and tender in the inside. They are traditionally served with sour cream and/or jam. They also make a great side dish for meat stews. In fact, goulash with potato pancakes happens to be one of my favorite dishes!

4 medium potatoes, peeled

1 onion 

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Oil for frying

  • Set a manual grater in a bowl and grate the potatoes and onions using the star-shaped holes.
  • Add egg, salt, pepper, and flour. Mix with a whisk or a fork until the batter is uniform.
  • Heat a thin layer of your preferred frying oil in a pan.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter and pour onto the frying pan. (If you don’t have a measuring cup with a 2-tablespoon capacity, just measure out two tablespoons into a larger ladle or cup.)
  • Wait for about 3-4 minutes for the underside to turn golden-brown. (This happens when you start seeing the edges turn slightly brown). Flip and wait another 1-2 minutes.
  • Several pancakes can be fried side-by-side, as long as their edges don’t touch.
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3 Responses to Russian-style Potato Pancakes

  1. Gerry says:

    I can’t wait to try these. The soft inside and crispy outside sounds delicious. Although, I think I’ll be eating mine with sour cream and ketchup. Thanks.


  2. Mari says:

    Today I was trying the combination of sour cream and Japanese ginger dressing, very interesting combination!


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