Grandma Rose’s Matzah Latkes

Matzah Latkes in the Pan

Passover in a Pan

We just got back from a Wilder Family Trip up to the mountains of Big Bear, California. My sister and her family live “up there” full-time, and my parents have a nice getaway spot right next door.

As part of our quality family time, we attended a Seder on Saturday night at B’Nai Big Bear, the local rustic-casual Jewish congregation. (That’s the one bummer of an April Birthday — every so often it’s trumped by Passover.  And sometimes it’s even trumped by both Passover and Easter! Mom did make fabulous Kosher-For-Passover Birthday Lemon Bars, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me, and I got to blow out some candles, so I’m not complaining all that much, mind you.)

Mixing Potatoes and Onions

Potatoes and Onions, a holy combination

On Sunday we had a big family brunch, in which Mom, Matty, and I made Grandma Roses’s “Matzah Latkes” recipe for everyone. (A Latke is a potato pancake that’s been pan-fried — kind of like hash brown patties.)  Grandma actually called it “Fried Matzah” — but I think “Matzah Latkes” is more accurate. Besides, I wouldn’t want you to think these come out of the deep fryer!

Mom Rules

Considering that the results of my poll on Saturday said loud-and-clear that you all want more recipes from me, I thought I should share this one right away.  This recipe goes back as far as I can remember (Grandma used to make it whenever she visited from The Bronx during Passover), and it’s quite possibly my favorite Passover tradition.

That, and cooking with my family.

See that layer of Matzah in the middle? Sneaky, eh?

Grandma Rose's Matzah Latkes
Recipe Type: Entrée
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves/Yield: 1-2
These are great topped with a dollop of apple sauce or Greek yogurt. The ingredients below make one large pancake, which is plenty for one person, with some left over. For more servings, just multiply everything by the number of servings -- so it's basically one potato, one onion, one egg, and one sheet of matzah per person.
  • 1 medium Potato
  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Matzah Meal, maybe a bit more
  • 1 sheet of Matzah (we use Whole Wheat)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons Oil, for frying
  1. Wash and grate the potato (keep the skin on, it's healthier and at least as tasty) and add to a large bowl. Pour off any excess moisture. Finely grate the onion and add to the bowl.
  2. Crack an egg in a small bowl, scramble it with a fork, and add it to the potato and onion mixture.
  3. Add the salt and Matzah Meal, and mix thoroughly. (The Matzah Meal works to absorb a bit of extra moisture from the potatoes and onions -- if it's really runny, just mix in a little more matzah meal.)
  4. Take a sheet of Matzah and run it briefly under cool water to moisten both sides.
  5. Place the matzah on a flat surface (such as a cutting board) and scoop about ¾ cup of the potato mixture on top. Flatten it out with the back of the spoon or your hands so there's about ½ inch (1.25 cm) of mixture on top.
  6. Heat the oil on medium in a large, nonstick skillet. Gently place the Matzah, potato side down, in the pan. Be sure the heat is not too high -- else you'll burn the potatoes before they cook all the way through.
  7. While it's cooking, add the potato mixture to the other side of the Matzah. Once the bottom is browned, about 4-5 minutes, gently lift the matzah with a large spatula and -- very carefully -- flip it over so the other side will cook. (Tip: After you lift the pancake out of the pan, tilt the frying pan up to about a 45 degree angle. You won't have to flip it over quite as far, and that also helps any excess oil move out of the way so it doesn't splatter as much upon landing).
  8. Cook the other side until brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, slice into quarters (squares or triangles) and serve immediately.
Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days, and they reheat well in the oven.

Sadly, we had no applesauce or Greek yogurt. Nevertheless… delicious!

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12 Responses to Grandma Rose’s Matzah Latkes

  1. sippitysup April 19, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    We did latkes this way this year too (I mean no applesauce). GREG

  2. Ruma April 17, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Thanks for the suggestions, Andrew.

    Another one for you – my office has those CoffeeMate singles, which I dunk in my morning coffee. I also use Splenda/Equal Sucralose. I tried black coffee today for the first time and am warming up to it. What can I substitute for Splenda?

    Thanks again – Ruma

    • Andrew April 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      I’m not a big fan of artificial sweeteners. I suppose Stevia is another option, though keep in mind that most powdered Stevia isn’t pure.

      I think the best plan is to slowly use less and less of any given sweetener. If you methodically reduce the amount just at tiny, tiny bit every day, your taste buds will have time to adjust. (Granted, if you add sugar to lots of other foods, you’ll still be craving sweet in your coffee!). But if you can reduce your overall sugar consumption slowly, you’ll find you don’t miss it as much as going “cold turkey.”

  3. Ruma April 16, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Hi Andrew, any ideas for carry-to-work lunches that are easy to put together? Also, what diet plan did you follow to lose weight?


    • Andrew April 16, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      Hi Ruma,

      Here are some unprocessed lunch ideas you might like. As for losing weight, I wouldn’t say that I followed a “diet plan.” Rather, I changed how I eat, forever. However, I did follow the basic advice in The Abs Diet.

      Hope that helps!

      – Andrew

  4. Kris @Krazy_Kris April 13, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    oh gosh! I’ve never had a Latke before!

    • Andrew April 13, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      They’re kind of like hash browns. But about 1000x better.

  5. Cassidy Stockton April 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Yum! Those sound great! I’m jealous you can find whole wheat Matzah. I bet it’s somewhere here in Portland, I’ve just not come across it yet. I love how simple the ingredient list is though- it actually made me think of you- wheat and water.

    • Andrew April 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      Clearly, you’ve found a market opportunity! I look forward to the new line of Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Whole Wheat Matzo!

  6. Beth (OMG! yummy) April 10, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Love it! A happy combo of potato kugel, matzo brei, and a matzo meal pancake. Brilliant!

    And a very happy birthday Andrew!

  7. Health Fitness Blog April 10, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    Very Pleasant moments they are.. 🙂

  8. Geez Louise! April 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    hope you had a lovely time with your family celebrating… latkes are comfort food 101!

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