Super Crispy Sweet Potato Latkes
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes
These are unlike any other sweet potato latkes. Crispy and satisfying, they will stand up to big flavors like barbeque sauce, grade B maple syrup, and the spiciest gingeriest applesauce you can make.
4 large sweet potatoes (approximately 6 pounds), variety of types (see Kitchen Tips)
2 large Spanish onions, grated
2 cups olive oil
4 large egg whites
¼ cup potato starch
¼ cup minced cilantro
Zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons for serving
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- Finely grate half of the potatoes and place in a colander lined with paper towels to drain. Coarsely grate the other half of the potatoes and place in another colander lined with paper towels to drain. Finely grate the onions. Place another layer of paper towel on top of the finely grated potatoes and then add the onion to drain on the paper towel.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk the eggs and potato starch in a large bowl until smooth. Add the cilantro, lemon zest, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, the coriander, and white pepper and mix.
- Add the potatoes and onion and stir to combine.
- Check the temperature of the oil by adding a teaspoon of the potato mixture to the oil. If it sizzles and bubbles, it is ready. (The temperature should be 355°F to 360°F, but it may increase to 365°F during cooking). If gushy and soft and not bubbling, it is not hot enough and you should raise the heat. You will need to keep the temperature even, and not too hot so the latkes don’t burn. (If you have made regular latkes before, the heat should be 10 to 15 degrees lower than that.)
- Form patties about 3 inches in diameter, and add to the hot oil, about 4 patties at a time. Lay them carefully into the oil away from you to avoid spattering. Cook on one side until brown and crispy on the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently squash the patties down with your spatula, then carefully flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes on the other side.
- Transfer to paper plates lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with additional salt and serve immediately. Alternatively, latkes freeze well and may be reheated in the oven at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes.
The key to these gluten-free sweet potato latkes is using a variety of potatoes including yams, as well finely and coarsely grating them. Finely grated potatoes make up the bulk of the pancake and give it heft. The grated potato will get crispy on the outside and stay intact on the inside, giving great textural contrasts. Make sure you finely grate on the small-holed side of a box grater or with a very small-holed attachment to your food processor. The shredding attachment works very well for coarsely grating, but you have more control of the length of the shreds with a box grater. Just watch out for your finger tips and knuckles.