4 Tips for Perfectly Crisp Latkes

Craig Kanarick, CEO of online specialty food shop Mouth, shares his foolproof techniques (and tongue-in-cheek words of advice).

Magic happens when you mash together shreds of potato and onion and then fry it up into little cakes. (Gail Simmons knows.)

Latke season has officially begun, and Craig Kanarick, the CEO of Mouth, a digital marketplace of specialty food and drink products, loves the lacy potato pancakes so much he’s made a whole kit of condiments to accompany them.

Now he’s shared his four best tips, just in time for the holidays:

1. Heat your oil up.

“Make sure the oil is super-hot but not smoking hot,” Kanarick says. He recommends grapeseed oil for frying, which has a higher smoking point.

2. Protect your clothes.

Despite constantly draining the shredded potatoes and onions, some liquid will inevitably remain as you fry. “Potatoes are wet, so the oil will splatter,” he says. “Wear an apron!”

3. Choose your weapon wisely.

Skip the spatula for these lace-edged delicate potato pancakes. “Little bits of the latkes are going to come off in the oil, so used a slotted spoon to remove them,” Kanarick says. “Those are the bites we usually fight over!”

4. Be patient.

What’s not to love about craggy-looking fried potatoes? (They’re still delicious when they’re ugly.) And don’t fret when the first batch of latkes aren’t up to your expectations. “Just like the first few pancakes aren’t perfect, the first few latkes won’t brown as well as the ones that follow,” Kanarick says.

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