The German obsession with potatoes is one of the most real stereotypes there is. Potato dumplings, Dauphinoise potatoes, boiled potatoes, potato soup, potato salad, mashed potatoes – you name it, we love it here! Especially in my family this humble vegetable is the carbohydrate of choice and it was always a great day when my mum made potato pancakes for lunch 🤤
Seemingly intimidating, potato pancakes are actually super simple to make and so delicious! The most labour-intensive step is probably the grating, but if you have a food processor, even that is easy. I find it weirdly amusing and satisfying to machine-grate something, it’s so fast! 😄 Whichever way you decide to grate your potatoes, it is important that they are quite fine afterwards. Otherwise they won’t cook properly later!
The other important step in this recipe is draining the grated potatoes. You will notice while grating already that some liquid accumulates at the bottom of your bowl. For the pancakes to stick together properly, we need to remove as much liquid as possible. Therefore, I add salt at this stage which draws additional water out of the potatoes. After leaving the salt to do its thing for a few minutes, you have to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. You can use a clean kitchen towel, but pressing the grated potatoes in a sieve will also work just fine.
Traditionally potato pancakes are fried, but nowadays that’s only common at fairs and Christmas markets. To make these a little bit healthier but keep the amazing golden-brown colour, I shallow-fry the pancakes in a pan. Then I place them on a towel to drain off excess oil. Apparently you can use the oven to make potato pancakes also, so you can try that! I love potato pancakes with unsweetened apple sauce as an entire meal, but these are also a great with vegan sausages or smoked tofu in a mushroom cream sauce!
German Potato Pancakes
- 6 potatoes small
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- salt & pepper
- oil for frying
- apple sauce
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Grate the potatoes into quite thin pieces (I like to use my food processor). Mix in a generous amount of salt to draw out the moisture. Transfer the grated potatoes to a sieve or kitchen towel and leave to rest for a few minutes.
- While the potatoes are resting, heat up enough oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat to cover the whole surface. After a few minutes compress the grated potatoes to remove as much water as possible. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- When the oil is hot, for each pancake add 1-2 tbsps of grated potato to the pan and press down. Cover the pan for a few minutes and turn the pancakes when they have a nice golden-brown colour. Repeat until the mixture is used up and serve with apple sauce.
I hope you give this recipe a try, it’s definitely a favourite of mine! Let me know how it goes in the comments or tag me on Instagram! You might also want to check out my last post on zero waste shopping or other savoury recipes, such as this beautiful Beetroot Soup or this winter-y Pumpkin Mushroom Pasta!
Until next time 👋