Cilantro-Jalapeno Latkes

Cilantro-Jalapeno Latkes

The traditional Jewish favorite gets a makeover with the lively flavors of lime, jalapeño, and cilantro. Seeded jalapeños make for mild latkes, but the chipotle sour cream still has some kick. If you want fire in both, leave the seeds in and garnish with additional jalapeño slices. Always use starchy potatoes, such as baking potatoes, for latkes; they’ll hold together best.–The Editors of Cooking Light

LC Sauce Optional Note

We’ve got nothing against the dipping sauce that accompanies these latkes. Nope. In fact, we quite like it. But honestly? These latkes don’t need it. They taste quite complete all on their own. Or, truth be told, alongside some guacamole or tomatillo salsa, for reasons articulated quite well in the comments below by recipe tester Melissa Maedgen. So we consider the sauce optional for this recipe, though essential in other instances, like with chicken wings and potato chips and all manner of fried things. But do whatever feels right.

Cilantro-Jalapeño Latkes

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 10 M
  • Serves 6
Print RecipeBuy the The New Way to Cook Light cookbook

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  • For the chipotle sour cream (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce, or less to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated lime zest, preferably organic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the latkes
  • 6 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) peeled and shredded russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 cup (1 medium) grated onion
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


  • Make the chipotle sour cream (optional)
  • 1. Combine the sour cream, chipotle, lime zest and juice, and salt in a small bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Make the latkes
  • 2. Combine the potato and onion in a colander, place it in the sink, and, if time permits, let drain for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing down on the mixture with the back of a spoon. Squeeze the potato and onion mixture to remove any excess moisture and then pat it dry with paper towels.
  • 3. Dump the dry potato and onion mixture into a large bowl, add the flour, and toss to combine. Add the cilantro, jalapeño, cumin (if using), salt, and egg and mix well.
  • 4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat. Spoon a heaping 1/4 cup potato mixture loosely into a dry measuring cup. Plop the mixture into the skillet and flatten it slightly with the back of a spatula. Repeat to form 6 latkes (or however many will fit comfortably in the skillet). Fry the latkes, flipping once, until golden brown, 3 1/2 to 7 minutes per side, depending on how brown and crisp you like the outside of your latkes. Remove the latkes from the skillet. Repeat with the remaining oil and potato mixture. Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve warm with the chipotle sour cream, if using.

Classic Potato Latkes Variation

  • Omit the chipotle sour cream as well as the cilantro, jalapeño, and cumin. Increase the grated onion to 1 1/4 cups and add 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme with the flour. Serve with unsweetened applesauce combined with a dash ground cinnamon.

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