Chef Evan Bloom from Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, San Francisco, has created these crispy and savory fritters that combine Chinese scallion pancakes with traditional Jewish latkes to create a festive fried food. The Chinese five-spice gives the pancakes a slight warmth, while the white sesame seed adds a crunchy crunch. These pan-fried potatoes have a crispy exterior and a fluffy inside, thanks to the high-starch russet potato.
- Two bunches of scallions (about 7 ounces)
- 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
- One small (six-ounce) Yellow onion peeled, trimmed, and with root end intact.
- Two 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
- Two teaspoons of baking powder
- One teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
- Two teaspoons of white sesame seeds divided
- Sour cream for serving
- Set aside. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet with a rim. Line the frame with a paper towel. Slice the scallions into thin slices, resulting in 2 cups of loosely packed scallions. Set aside. The remaining scallions can be used for another purpose.
- Shred the potatoes and onions using a shredding disc in a food processor (or use a box grater with large holes over a medium-sized bowl). Place shredded onions and potatoes on a kitchen towel and squeeze hard over the sink. Transfer the potatoes and onions to a large mixing bowl. Add the thinly sliced scallions, potatoes, cake flour, and baking powder.
- Pour oil into a skillet with a thickness of 1/8″; heat on medium until it shimmers. Pour 1/4 cup of potato mixture per pancake in hot oil, working in batches. The potato mixture should start to sizzle immediately after it is placed in the hot oil. Press the flattening with a heat-resistant metal spatula. Over medium heat, cook until the edges and bottoms of the pancakes are crisp and browned. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle each pancake generously with sesame seeds and a pinch or two of salt. Flip the pancakes and continue cooking until they are browned and crispy, about 2 to 3 min. Transfer onto a wire rack. Serve with sour cream.
- Prepare the recipe according to Steps 1 and 2 for two large potato pancakes with scallions. Instead of Step 3, heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch skillet on medium-high until it shimmers. Add half the potato mixture (2 1/2 cups). The potato mixture should start to sizzle immediately after it is placed in the oil. Use a heat-resistant or metal spatula to press the potato mixture into a thin layer that covers the bottom of the skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Turn the skillet at 90 degrees once every 2 minutes until the bottom of the potato mix is crispy and brown, about 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle one teaspoon of sesame seeds over the top and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Slide potato pancakes onto a large plate. Invert a second plate and place it on top.
- Reduce heat to medium and add two tablespoons of oil. Slide potato pancake, uncooked side down, back into skillet. Cook by rotating the skillet 90 degrees each 2 minutes until the bottom is crisped and browned. This should take 6-8 minutes. Slide the potato pancake onto a wire rack. Repeat the cooking procedure using the remaining potato mixture. Add six tablespoons of oil, one teaspoon of sesame seed, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. If liquid gathers in the bottom of the bowl, squeeze out the juice before adding it to the skillet. Serve with sour cream.