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Fonio Latkes

Prep Time
Cook Time

December 9, 2020 by Gemma Simko

A West African twist on a Hanukkah favorite! By adding fonio, these latkes stay extra moist on the inside. For perfectly crisp latkes, it’s essential to squeeze out as much liquid from the shredded potatoes as possible. You can use paper towels for this, but make sure they are high quality, or else the paper towel will fall apart when wet. These potato pancakes are perfect for Hanukkah, but are also delicious year round. Outside of the holiday season, serve for brunch with smoked salmon, a poached egg, and hollandaise.


Makes 6 latkes
    • large russet potato, peeled and coarsely shredded on a box grater
    • ¼  cup cooked Yolélé fonio (prepared according to package directions)
    • heaping tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion, preferably in a food processor (about half of one medium onion)
    • egg, whisked
    • ½  teaspoon kosher salt
    • A few cracks fresh black pepper
    • Vegetable oil (for frying)


      • 01 .  

        Place shredded potato into a clean towel (preferably cheesecloth or muslin, but any clean dish towel works) and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

      • 02 .  

        Combine all ingredients (except oil) in a bowl.

      • 03 .  

        Lay parchment paper on a cutting board or baking sheet. Using your hands, form balls and then shape into patties and lay onto the lined sheet or cutting board. As you finish shaping, lightly squeeze the patties between your palms to remove even more liquid (but don’t over squeeze/destroy the shape).

      • 04 .  

        In a large skillet over medium-high heat, pour in the oil until it reaches about a ¼” up the pan, or enough to hit the latkes just about halfway up their sides. Test the oil by flicking a small amount of water into it with your fingers. Once it sizzles, it’s hot enough to begin frying. Using a spatula, carefully lift the patties from the parchment paper and place in the pan. Fry a few at a time, leaving plenty of room around each latke to not crowd the pan and to make it easier to flip them. Fry for about 4 minutes, or until the underside is golden brown, then flip and fry the other side, about 3 minutes. Note: The oil will grow hotter over time. You may need to adjust the heat/cook time between batches as necessary.

      • 05 .  

        Transfer the latkes to a clean paper towel to absorb excess oil, about 2 minutes. Lightly blot excess oil off the top.

      • 06 .  

        Serve with applesauce and sour cream or your favorite latke garnishes!