Korean Latkes

Recipe from Sunset

Chef Nyesha Arrington serves these crisp-edged, gently spicy latkes for brunch at her Venice Beach restaurant, Leona. They're great with a green salad on the side.

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Total time Yield
1 hour 12 servings 



  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup spicy napa cabbage kimchi, drained and very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon ground Korean red chile (gochugaru)* or 3/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 bunch chives, cut into 1-in. lengths (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • About 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 4 green onions, cut into 2-in. slivers
  • Espelette pepper* or smoked paprika
  • Flake sea salt


  • 1. Heat oven to 200°. Peel potatoes and shred coarsely in a food processor or on a box grater. Put in a kitchen towel and wring out as much liquid as possible.
  • 2. In a bowl, mix potatoes and remaining latke ingredients with 1/4 cup vegetable oil.
  • 3. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp. remaining oil in a large, heavy nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Spoon in scant 1/4 cupfuls of latke batter to form 5 pancakes; flatten to a thickness of 1/2 in. Cook until dry-looking around edges and browned underneath, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook other side until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Cook remaining latkes the same way, adding more oil as needed.
  • 4. For each plate, spoon about 1 tbsp crème onto each side and smear toward center. Top with 2 or 3 latkes and some green onions. Sprinkle with espelette pepper and sea salt.

    *Find smoky, fruity gochugaru (not to be confused with the Korean chile paste called gochujang) at Asian markets and online. Find mild Spanish espelette pepper at specialty shops and online.

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