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Korean Latkes

Photo: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Joni Noe

Total time 1 hr

Serves 4 to 6 as a first course (makes about 12 latkes) (serving size: 2 latkes)

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.


  • 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, divided
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 4 green onions, cut into 2-in. slivers
  • Espelette pepper* or smoked paprika
  • Flake sea salt

Nutrition Information

  • calories 362
  • caloriesfromfat 66 %
  • protein 5.1 g
  • fat 27 g
  • satfat 9.1 g
  • carbohydrate 24 g
  • fiber 3.1 g
  • sodium 419 mg
  • cholesterol 61 mg

How to Make It

  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 fraîche onto each side and smear toward center. Top with 2 or 3 latkes and some green onions. Sprinkle with espelette pepper and sea salt.

  5. *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.

Leona, Venice Beach, CA