Scallion Potato Pancakes

This hybrid of Jewish latkes and Chinese scallion pancakes is the perfect crispy holiday dish.

Scallion Potato Pancakes

Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Total Time:
55 mins
12 to 16 pancakes

These crispy, savory fritters from chef Evan Bloom of Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen in San Francisco combine traditional Jewish latkes with crispy Chinese scallion pancakes to create the perfect festive fried food. Chinese five-spice powder adds a subtle warmth to the pancakes while white sesame seeds lend a nutty crunch. High-starch russet potatoes alongside a dash of extra potato starch ensure these pan-fried potatoes are golden and crispy on the outside with a fluffy interior.


  • 2 bunches scallions (about 7 ounces)

  • 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled

  • 1 small (6-ounce) yellow onion, peeled and trimmed (root end intact)

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup potato starch (about 2 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup bleached cake flour (about 1 7/8 ounces)

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil, divided

  • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, divided

  • Sour cream, for serving


  1. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet, and line rack with paper towels; set aside. Thinly slice light green and dark green parts of scallions to equal 2 loosely packed cups; set aside. Reserve remaining scallions for another use.

  2. Insert shredding disk in a food processor (or use large holes of a box grater over a medium bowl); shred potatoes and onion. Working quickly and in batches, place shredded potatoes and onion on a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze firmly over sink to remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer potatoes and onion to a large bowl. Add thinly sliced scallions, eggs, potato starch, cake flour, 2 teaspoons salt, baking powder, five-spice powder, and pepper; stir until combined.

  3. Pour oil to a depth of 1/8 inch in a cast-iron skillet; heat over medium until shimmering. Working in batches of 3, spoon 1/4 cup potato mixture for each pancake into hot oil. (Potato mixture should sizzle as soon as it hits the oil.) Using a metal or heat-resistant spatula, press to flatten. Cook over medium until edges and bottoms are browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle each pancake with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sesame seeds. Flip and cook until browned and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to prepared wire rack. Serve with sour cream.

Alternative Method

  1. To make 2 large scallion potato pancakes, Prepare recipe as directed in Steps 1 and 2. Omit Step 3, and instead: Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high until shimmering; add half of potato mixture (about 2 1/2 cups). (Potato mixture should sizzle as soon as it hits the oil.) Using a metal spatula or heat-resistant spatula, press potato mixture into an even layer to cover bottom of skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning skillet 90 degrees every 2 minutes, until bottom of potato mixture is crisp and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon of the sesame seeds and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Slide potato pancake onto a large plate. Place a second large plate on top, and invert.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to skillet, and reduce to medium heat. Slide potato pancake, uncooked side down, back into skillet. Cook, turning skillet 90 degrees every 2 minutes, until bottom is crisp and browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Slide potato pancake onto prepared wire rack.  Repeat cooking procedure with remaining potato mixture, 6 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. (If liquid collects at bottom of bowl before adding potato mixture to hot skillet, squeeze liquid from potato mixture before cooking.) Serve with sour cream.

To Make Ahead

Fried pancakes may be kept warm on a wire rack set over a large rimmed baking sheet in a 200°F oven.


Bloom also likes to use this recipe to make 2 giant scallion potato pancakes. To do so, follow the Alternative Method at the end of the recipe.

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