If you have seen the recipe / technique for Crispy Hash Browns you will recognize this method. Water is the enemy of really crispy potatoes and using a salad spinner to remove all the water and thoroughly dry the potatoes works like a charm. It is important to remove the starch from the potatoes by soaking and rinsing well. If the starch is not rinsed away you will end up with gummy potatoes. The salad spinner takes care of both those jobs in a couple of easy steps.
I was thrilled to find that Chef John’s Classic Potato Pancake recipe needed a picture. This is a solid recipe but he has you drying the potatoes by squeezing them and blotting on paper towels. Personally, I think using the salad spinner is far more effective. Before the invention of the salad spinner, my Auntie would grate and rinse the potatoes, place them in the middle of a clean thin tea towel, gather the ends together and take them outside and spin them like a prop on an airplane. Thank God, someone invented the salad spinner!
One thing to remember, you will have excess egg, flour, potato moisture in the bottom of the bowl. You just want to toss the potatoes with that and use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove potatoes from the bowl and place into the hot oil.
The recipe says it serves four but this made 6 large potato pancakes, I suppose some people would like to have 2 but this could easily serve 6 people.
If you would like to print this method, you can find it here.
Classic Potato Pancakes aka Latkas.