Killer Crispy Latkes with Sour Cream & Chives

As a terrific breakfast or brunch item, nothing beats these flavourful potato pancakes!

Killer Crispy Latkes with Sour Cream & Chives
Photo: Nicole Axworthy

Everyone loves potatoes, and everyone loves pancakes, so these “potato pancakes” are perhaps one of life’s true joys! Potato pancakes are so diversely delicious that many cultures have their own savoury and sweet versions, from the Jewish holiday staple called “latkes,” a Korean kind called “gamja-jeon,” and the traditional Irish “boxty.” The trick to making the perfect latke is removing as much of the starch as possible, and making the potato as dry as possible before cooking. Serve them hot with my sour cream and feel free to get creative with your toppings, though I suggest a classic sprinkling of chives.

Makes 24 Latkes

Recipe Ingredients


  • 2 ½ lbs. Russet potatoes, skin on
  • 2 Tbsp. ground, golden flaxseed
  • ½ cup finely diced white onion
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. chopped, fresh thyme leaves
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • ½ cup sour cream (see below)

Recipe Directions

  1. Using a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment, or a box grater, grate the potatoes. If using a food processor, cut the potatoes to fit through the feed tube.
  2. Fill a deep, large bowl with cold water. Add the grated potatoes to the water. This will help remove starch from the potatoes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed and hot water until well combined. Set aside to let soak for 10 minutes so the flaxseed can swell and absorb the moisture in the water.
  4. In a medium frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the thyme and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. Using your hands, squeeze the water out of the potatoes until they are completely dry. You want to remove as much water as you can from the potatoes, so your cooked latkes will be nice and crispy. Place the potatoes in a medium bowl. Add the flaxseed mixture, flour, sautéed onions, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you might need two baking sheets).
  7. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, divide the mixture into 24 equal portions. Using your hands, shape each latke so they are roughly 3 inches in diameter. In a large frying pan, heat enough vegetable oil so the bottom is covered and the oil comes up the sides of the pan about ¼-inch over medium-high heat. Taking care not to crowd the pan, in batches, adding more oil as necessary, fry the latkes until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and place the latkes on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until cooked in the middle, 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Serve garnished with chopped chives and sour cream.

Tips: These are perfect to make ahead of time and reheat in the oven at 400˚F (200˚C) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 8 to 10 minutes. Substitute an equal amount of brown rice flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe for a gluten-free version.

Makes 2 cups

Recipe Ingredients

Sour Cream

  • 1 ½ cups firm vacuum-packed tofu, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. deodorized coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 ½ tsp. unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. sea salt

Recipe Directions

In a high-speed blender, combine the tofu, soaked cashews, lemon juice, water, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. You will need to stop the machine once or twice and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. It will take a bit of time to blend until smooth (especially if you are not using a high-speed blender), so blend for as long as needed, up to about 5 minutes.
Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

Tips: To soak the cashews, place them in a small bowl with 1 cup (250 mL) hot water for at least 1 hour or overnight, covered, and stored in the fridge. Drain and rinse, discarding the soaking liquid.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 79; protein 3 g; fat 3 g; carbs 11 g.

Excerpted from The Classics Veganized: Over 120 Favourite Comfort Food Recipes for a Vegan Lifestyle by Doug McNish. Copyright © 2020 Doug McNish. Published by Penguin Canada ®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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