The Festival of Lights—also known as Hanukkah—is upon us. As my YouTube video shows, there are many myths about Hanukkah, which I was happy to dispel.
Hanukkah is not “Jewish Christmas”! But yes, we play dreidel. And yes, we eat oily food on this holiday to commemorate the miracle of oil lasting 8 nights when it looked to be only enough for one night.
Even if you’re not Jewish, you are welcome to play the thrilling game of dreidel (instructions can be found here), and you can still partake in our oily food!
Below is my favorite recipe for latkes (potato pancakes) from my cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table. I make them vegan, but you can also use an egg to bind them if you want to. My book also includes a variation made with carrots and dill for a more sophisticated latke experience. Both recipes are lovely with applesauce or sour cream (I use the vegan kind), or ketchup if you want to be like my weird family.
Check out the book for a more labor intensive, but super duper worth it recipe for vegan sufganiyot (donuts). Typically, they are filled with jelly. I find it unbelievably messy to fill them, so we just make them unfilled with powdered sugar.
If you’re the kind of person who eats super healthy, these are not for you. They are fried in oil. Legit oil. But! If you eat mostly healthy most of the time, I think you might want to go wild just this once!
4 russet or golden potatoes
1/4 cup matzoh meal, or all-purpose flour if matzoh meal isn’t available (but I think matzoh meal works better!)
Egg replacer equivalent of 1 egg
Pinch of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
1. Shred the potatoes and onion and place in a strainer over a large bowl. Drain for about 15 minutes, and then discard any liquid in the bowl, leaving any remaining starch. Place the shredded potato and onion mixture and the remaining ingredients in the bowl, and mix well.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet until very hot but not smoking. Scoop up handful-size patties and place in the hot oil, spreading them into 3- to 4-inch rounds with a fork. You may need to do this in several batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Don’t flip them too much! Fry until golden, about 4 minutes on each side, and drain on paper towels or brown paper bags on a wire rack.