Giving up eggs doesn’t have to mean giving up crispy, tender, perfect latkes. These vegan latkes are just as delicious as their traditional counterparts without an egg in sight.
As a kid, I have many fond memories of making latkes with my family. We’d make them for Hanukkah, of course, but latkes were also a go-to when we needed a quick, budget-friendly supper. These vegan latkes from Zsu Dever’s new cookbook, Aquafaba, bring back memories of a sizzling pan and crispy, fried potato cakes of my childhood without any animal cruelty.
Traditionally, you serve latkes with applesauce and sour cream for dipping. I’ve always been a toppings gal, so I plated up my vegan latkes with some quick, homemade applesauce (recipe below the latke recipe) and vegan sour cream for dipping. You can choose a store-bought vegan sour cream or make your own from scratch. If you want to make your own, Vegan Miam’s cashew sour cream is a solid recipe.
Zsu’s newest book, like all of her cookbooks, is rock solid. Each recipe is a mouthwatering example of how aquafaba can replace eggs in cooking and baking. You know this book is legit, because it features a foreword by Goose Wohlt, the man who discovered the magic of aquafaba.
If you’ve been reading this far and wondering, “What the heck is aquafaba?” Don’t worry! It’s not some weird, expensive ingredient. Aquafaba is the liquid that you normally rinse away when you drain a can of beans. It’s basically free, and it freezes like a dream, so you can store it now to use in recipes later. Here’s a video I shot explaining a little bit more about aquafaba and showing you how easy it is to collect and store:
Zsu’s book has aquafaba magic beyond these latkes, but I chose this recipe because of the nostalgia factor. She has recipes for condiments, breakfasts, lunches, suppers, and sweets. There’s also a chapter of bean recipes, because when you start cooking with aquafaba, you often find yourself with beans that also need cooking.
The book also includes a detailed shout-out to the Vegan Meringue Hits & Misses group on Facebook. This is a group of amazing vegan cooks who have been tirelessly creating and testing aquafaba recipes. This group is the reason we know how many uses aquafaba has today.
If you’re intrigues about aquafaba and want to dive into cooking with this truly magical egg replacer, I encourage you to grab a copy of Zsu’s book. It’s truly comprehensive.
These latkes are perfectly crisp on the outside and melt-in- your-mouth on the inside. The added potato starch increases their crispiness, but it is not essential. Some russet potatoes tend to be on the drier side, but to be safe, place them in a lint-free kitchen towel, fold up the edges and give them a good wring to remove excess water. Serve this the traditional way, with nondairy sour cream and applesauce. (from Aquafaba, copyright 2016 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission.)
Yield: 14-16 vegan latkes
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1/4 cup aquafaba (see Note)
- 1/4 cup potato starch, optional
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- High-heat oil, for frying, such as canola or peanut
- Peel the potatoes and shred them using either a food processor with the shredding blade or a box grater. Place them on a kitchen towel, fold up the edges, twist the towel around the potatoes, and squeeze out all the water that you can. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Shred the onion and add it to the potatoes. Add the aquafaba, starch, parsley (if using), salt, baking powder, and black pepper. Mix very well.
- Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add two or three kernels of popping corn and heat the oil until the corn pops; this is an indicator that your oil is hot enough. Remove and discard the popped corn.
- Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, place 3 to 4 portions of the potato mixture in the hot oil and cook them until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Do not press down on the latkes. Flip the latkes and continue to cook another 2 minutes. Drain them on paper towels and serve as soon as possible. Make sure to give the potatoes a stir before measuring, and do not crowd the skillet or your latkes will not be crispy.
Note: Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.
Quick, Homemade Applesauce
This recipe makes a small batch of applesauce. You can multiply it to make more, as needed. The lovely pink color comes from the apple’s peel!
Yield: about 1 cup applesauce
- 2 pink lady apples, chopped into 1″ pieces (Skin on is fine.)
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 1/4 cup water (Plus more, as needed.)
- In a small frying pan over low heat, combine the apple, lemon juice, and the 1/4 cup of water. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples become soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Add water, 2 tablespoons at a time, if the pan gets too dry. When you’re done cooking, it’s okay if there is a small amount of liquid in the pan.
- Transfer the apples and any leftover liquid to a heat-safe container, then use an immersion blender to puree to your desired smoothness.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Still transfer them to the heat-safe container to cool, then transfer to the blender to puree.