Polish Potato Pancakes (Placki Ziemniaczane)

Polish potato pancakes

The Spruce

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 potato pancakes (6 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
233 Calories
4g Fat
42g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 potato pancakes (6 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 233
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 327mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 7g
Calcium 66mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Polish potato pancakes, known as placki kartoflane or placki ziemniaczane in Polish, are delicious and delightful. This traditional recipe comes from Gwizdały village in the Mazovia region of Poland and it's surprisingly easy.

Traditionally, potato pancakes are eaten on Fridays as a meat substitute for Catholics. Many cuisines have their own take on them, including Jewish latkes, Czech potato dumplings, and Lithuanian zeppelins. They offer a rich source of protein and are great on their own or as a side dish, even outside of the Lenten season.

You can add to the flavor of your potato pancakes in a variety of ways. Simply add grated garlic, onion, carrot, parsnips, zucchini, or other vegetables to the batter before frying. They're also really good with chopped bacon. You'll find it best to serve these thin, crispy pancakes hot, either sprinkled with sugar or dolloped with sour cream and applesauce. 

Grated raw potatoes can become gray rather fast. You can prevent them from turning dark by soaking them in cold water with either lemon juice, vinegar, or vitamin C powder while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Just be sure to drain and pat them dry before making the batter.

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Ingredients

  • 6 medium potatoes (peeled and finely grated)
  • 1 medium onion (finely grated)
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or more as needed)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (approximately, for frying)
  • Garnish: granulated sugar, sour cream, applesauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Polish pancakes
    The Spruce
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the potatoes, onion, eggs, salt, and pepper.

    Mix in a bowl
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  3. Add enough flour to bind the mixture together while leaving it somewhat thin.

    Add flour
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  4. In a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat until hot, but not smoking.

    Heat skillet
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  5. Drop tablespoonfuls of potato mixture into the skillet and spread out to form a 3-inch circle that's about 1/4-inch thick.

    Drop mixture in frying pan
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  6. Fry until brown on the bottom (don't turn until the pancake is brown or it will stick), about 3 to 5 minutes. If needed, reduce the heat to medium to prevent burning.

    Fry until brown
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  7. Turn the pancake and fry the other side for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

    Fry potato pancake
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  8. Drain on paper towels.

    Put on paper towels
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  9. Serve with granulated sugar or sour cream and applesauce if desired.

    Serve with granulated sugar and sour cream
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  10. Enjoy!

Tips

  • If you don't like the idea of grating potatoes by hand, there are a couple ways to get around it. One is to use your food processor with a grating disk. You can simply send potato chunks down the chute and, while the processor is running, add the onion, eggs, seasonings, and flour as well. Use only a portion of the flour and stir in more if needed.
  • Frozen hash browns will really save time when you want potato pancakes, though the flavor and texture will be different. Just thaw and drain the hash browns and mix them with the other ingredients, no grater or food processor needed!

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