Potato Pancakes {Placki Ziemniaczane}

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Potato Pancakes {Placki Ziemniaczane}

This very thrifty dish is not only weirdly delicious, but it also won’t break your budget. Poles, through many economic and political turbulence over the centuries, were forced to get creative with their resources.

Potatoes are cheap and always in everyone’s pantry. Onions? Who doesn’t grow onions or knows someone who grows onions.

I believe this is a great example of Polish resourcefulness. To make this $1 dinner you will need just a few ingredients that you already have in your pantry or fridge.

Potato pancakes are pan-fried savory dinner dish, that my family served with a dollop of cold and creamy sour cream and a sprinkle of sugar. Hot pancakes melt the cream slightly and gives enough moisture to dissolve the sugar. Somehow, the savory and sweet works well and the dish is very popular with kids.

Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes {Placki Ziemniaczane}

  • Yields: 16-20 pancakes
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs raw potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • ½ cup of water (if needed)
  • Grease (oil or lard) for frying

Instructions

  1. Peel and rough dice the potatoes and onion (be prompt, you don’t want the potatoes turning brown) and place in your blender* (I needed to put some water with the veggies to get it going, but it’s not necessary if you have a high-speed super blender). I did this in two batches. Make sure to leave some onion for both the batches; it prevents raw potatoes from turning brown. Blend on high for a couple of minutes to create a smooth paste.

  2. Transfer your mixture to a mixing bowl, add lightly beaten eggs, flour and salt. Mix until combined. Heat oil/lard in a pan and fry thinly layered pancakes until golden brown on both sides.

  3. My family always ate them with sour cream and sugar (!) I know, that’s different… but so is all other Polish food. Somehow it works though.

Notes

*Old school, this would have been done on a traditional grater, with my fingers and knuckles bleeding into the potato pancake mixture. Since I like my knuckles whole, and I just got my nails done, I’m upgrading to a blender. The idea is to have smooth and a bit watery mixture, so blender will do great.

You can also serve them with beef or pork goulash, or Hungarian style, with roasted red bell peppers and onions (will have to make that recipe sometime).

Till then, let me know what you think! Please leave me a comment below.

Smacznego!!

Anna

ps. you can now see me making this dish below!


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20 Comments

  1. Dear Anna,
    My relatives passed away without the recipe for Kieska. Do you have a recipe for this? If so mail to me please.

    1. Hi Claudia! I think you are talking about “kiszka” blood sausage with barley in it? “Kiszka” can also be a potato sausage. Is that what you had in mind?
      Greetings! Anna

  2. Only grating will give you the consistency for a great potato pancake. I only tried once with the blendr and they are too thin and watery for me.

  3. Anna, I am so hungry for these placzki that I cannot stand it another day. It’s too late tonite
    but I will be feasting on these tomorrow for supper. i also used to have bleeding knuckles and
    as a young girl couldn’t figure out why no one ever found another way to do the potatoes. Now,
    like you I have a food processor and and life is good. I haven’t had these for a few year. Love them
    with butter and ketchup. Can’t wait until tomorrow. Thanks for your website.

    1. Yes, I’m making a batch tomorrow too, been craving them for a while. Try them with sour cream and a sprinkle of sugar, I know, sounds weird. Do it for me😉

  4. Onion will reduce browning of potatoes—after grating ,let set and drain water into cup—potato starch will settle to bottom—discard water–and add starch to grated potato–then fry —–egg and flour are a no-no——-I use sugar on top –hot or cold —yum

  5. I use a food processor these days. I like my knuckles whole. What’s funny is that my older brother still grates potatoes by hand because he said it doesn’t taste the same if you do it in a blender or food processor. I told him that he must like the extra protein from the blood and skin.

  6. My bapcia would thickly grate the potatoes, which meant the placki came out a bit lumpy and crumbly (though still delicious). This looks like a better technique.

    Somewhere along the line you picked up a very good Midwestern American accent. My Polish relatives would be envious.

  7. I’m making some tonight but I’m hand grinding the potatoes. But next time I will use the blender. So I guess I’m losing some knuckles. You are informative and very real. I love your channel. Hugs from Canada.

  8. I’m making some tonight but I’m hand grinding the potatoes. But next time I will use the blender. So I guess I’m losing some knuckles. You are informative and very real. I love your channel. Hugs from Canada.

  9. Hello! Love your channel and site! My man grew up in Poland and so I’ve been wanting to cook him polish meals for a while. You make it so easy!
    One question though, is it possible to keep the liquid batter in the fridge? It’d be nice to make it and have it on hand for a few meals. Is it possible to freeze the liquid batter for quick meals? Thank you 🙏

    1. Interesting question Elaina. I’ve never thought about freezing it (you can definitely refrigerate it). My one concern with freezing would be time spent thawing it, unless you thaw it overnight or something.

  10. I guess I’m a traditionalist, I was taught to use the old box grater. Even the new ones don’t give me the correct texture. Also, I was taught to add about 1 tbs baking powder to help them rise up.

    And applesauce was always the way to go at our house. I like sour cream on them, but as you say it’s the memories!

  11. I guess I’m a traditionalist, I was taught to use the old box grater. Even the new ones don’t give me the correct texture. Also, I was taught to add about 1 tbs baking powder to help them rise up.
    And applesauce was always the way to go at our house. I like sour cream on them, but as you say it’s the memories!

  12. Saw your video and had to laugh about “grandma needed one of these”. Yes, my Oma, Mom, and sometimes I, used to grate the potatoes by hand. Then I started to use a food processor to grate them and then squeeze out the liquid. Made a more “rough” pancake. So, tonight I tried this recipe. Easy, peasy! Plus, the taste was great! Texture a bit smoother; but it all disappeared between my husband and me. We used applesauce. German here and my hubby had Czech grandparents. Thank you – we enjoy watching your channel! Next: Goulash!

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