Placki Ziemniaczne: Easy Polish Potato Pancakes Recipe

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These delicious polish potato pancakes, Placki Ziemniaczane, are a favorite dish of many. Easy to make, they pair very well with different toppings making them a versatile dish.

potatoes pancakes styled on a serving platter; small bowls and dishes with various garnishes

You want to test your creativity in the kitchen, Polish Potato Pancakes are perfect for this. Typically they are made savory with finely shredded onion and salt and pepper.

To elevate the basic recipe you can add other veggies, like carrots, zucchinis or parsnips to the batter.

Craving sweet treat? Omit the onion and instead add cinnamon, other warming spices. You can also make them using sweet potatoes. 

Why you will love Placki Ziemniaczane (Polish Potato Pancakes)

#1: Potato pancakes are versatile, make them sweet or savory.

#2: Side or a main dish, you decide how to enjoy potato pancakes.

#3: Hearty dish, made with simple ingredients potato pancakes are satisfying in texture and flavor.

potatoes pancakes styled on a serving platter; small bowls and dishes with various garnishes

Polish Potato Pancakes Ingredients, Variations and Substitutions

Potatoes – Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes are commonly used for their starchy texture. Be sure to peel and grate the potatoes finely for a smoother batter. It is recommended to squeeze out excess moisture from the grated potatoes to ensure crispy pancakes. If you’re looking for alternatives to Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, you could try using sweet potatoes for a twist on the classic recipe. Just keep in mind that the flavor and texture will be slightly different.

Onion (optional) – it’s a common addition in traditional savory recipe but can be omitted if preferred. If using onion, make sure to finely chop or grate it. Sauteing the onion before adding it to the batter can also enhance its flavor. If you’re not a fan of onion or prefer a milder flavor, you can simply omit it from the recipe without any major impact on the final dish.

Eggs – act as a binding agent, helping to hold the pancake batter together. They also contribute to the richness and flavor of the pancakes. Be sure to whisk the eggs well before adding them to the batter to ensure uniform incorporation. This will help achieve a consistent texture in the pancakes. If you’re looking to make the recipe vegan or have an egg allergy, you can try using a commercial egg replacer or a flaxseed or chia seed “egg” (1 tablespoon ground seeds + 3 tablespoons water per egg).

Flour – helps to bind the ingredients together and provides structure to the pancake batter. It also helps to achieve a crispy exterior on the pancakes when fried. Use all-purpose flour for a standard recipe. For gluten-free options, try using almond flour, chickpea flour, or a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend as a substitute.

Salt, Pepper – essential seasonings that enhance the flavor of the pancakes. Season the batter to taste with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that you can always adjust the seasoning later if needed.  Feel free to customize the seasonings to your preference by adding herbs or spices such as garlic powder, paprika, or dried herbs like parsley or dill.

Oil for frying – used for frying the pancakes, helping to achieve a crispy exterior and golden brown color. Use a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or canola oil, for frying. Make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the pancake batter. If you prefer, you can use clarified butter (ghee) or olive oil for frying. Keep in mind that olive oil has a lower smoke point and may impart a distinct flavor to the pancakes. Alternatively, you can use a non-stick skillet and cook the pancakes with minimal oil for a lighter option.

Sour Cream – Optional, but often used as a topping for Polish potato pancakes. It adds a creamy and tangy flavor that complements the crispy texture of the pancakes. Sour cream can also be mixed into the batter to create a richer, more moist texture. When using sour cream as a topping, it can be served plain or mixed with herbs and spices for added flavor. For those looking for a dairy-free alternative to sour cream, coconut cream or vegan sour cream substitutes can be used. Sour cream also helps balance the savory flavor of the pancakes with its cool, creamy texture.

potatoes pancakes styled on a serving platter; small bowls and dishes with various garnishes

Equipment you will need:

  • Grater of food processor
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cheesecloth or kitchen towel
  • Strainer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Chef’s knife and cutting board
  • Whisk or fork to mix the batter
  • Skillet for frying
  • Spatula for flipping
  • Paper towels or wire rack

Top tips for making the best Polish potato pancakes

Grate potatoes finely to ensure a smoother batter and better texture in the pancakes. Use a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment for best results.

Remove excess moisture after grating the potatoes. Squeeze out excess moisture using a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth. This step helps to prevent soggy pancakes and ensures crispiness when frying.

Season generously, don’t skimp on the seasoning! Be sure to season the batter with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add other herbs and spices for extra flavor, such as grated garlic, paprika, or dried herbs like parsley or dill.

Use high heat oil (such as vegetable oil) for frying the potato pancakes batter. This helps to achieve a crispy exterior and prevents the pancakes from becoming greasy.

Fry in batches allowing enough space between each pancake to ensure even cooking and browning.

Flatten pancakes gently. After spooning the batter into the skillet, use the back of a spoon or spatula to gently flatten the pancakes into an even thickness. This helps them cook evenly and ensures a uniform shape.

Keep Warm in Oven – if you are frying multiple batches of pancakes, keep them warm in a preheated oven set to a low temperature (around 200°F or 95°C).

Potato pancakes are best served fresh and hot, straight from the skillet. Remember to first place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Enjoy them with your favorite toppings or dipping sauces for a delicious and satisfying meal or snack.

potatoes pancakes styled on a serving platter; small bowls and dishes with various garnishes

How to make Polish Potato pancakes (“Jak zrobić placki ziemniaczane”)

  • Wash and peel the potatoes using a vegetable peeler. 

  • Peel and finely chop or grate the onion. This step is optional but adds flavor to the potato pancakes.
  • Using a box grater or a food processor grate the potatoes. Aim for fine texture for smoother potato pancakes.

  • Transfer the grated potatoes into a clean cheese cloth or kitchen towel. Gather the the edges of the towel or cheesecloth and twist them together to form a pouch around the potatoes. Squeeze the pouch tightly to press out as much liquid as possible from the grated potatoes.
  • You can use the potato starch collected at the bottom of the large bowl (from draining the potatoes) as a thickening agent for the potato pancake batter. Discard the water.
  • In a large bowl, combine the grated potato mass and onion (if using).

  • Add the lightly beaten egg to the potato mixture. 
  • Gradually add the flour to the potato mixture, mixing until it is fully incorporated. 
  • Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Allow the oil to heat up.

  • Once the oil is hot, spoon the potato potato pancake batter into the skillet. Using about 1/4 cup of potato pancake batter for each pancake seems optimal. Gently flatten the batter into round pancake shapes.
  • Cook the potato pancakes for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Use a spatula to carefully flip the pancakes halfway through cooking.
  • As the potato pancakes finish cooking, transfer them to a paper towel covered plate to drain any excess oil.
  • Serve the potato pancakes warm, topped with your favorite toppings. Read below How to best enjoy Placki Ziemniaczane. 
potatoes pancakes styled on a serving platter; small bowls and dishes with various garnishes

How to best enjoy Polish potato pancakes (z czym podawać placki ziemniaczane?):

Traditional Toppings – serve potato pancakes with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives or green onions. The creamy tanginess of the sour cream complements the crispy Polish potato pancakes perfectly.

Savory Sauces – pair the savory Polish potato pancakes with savory sauces such as Polish Mushroom sauce, tangy barbecue sauce, or spicy sriracha mayo for an extra kick of flavor.

Add a delicious protein to your potato pancakes. Smoked salmon, crispy Bacon, Smoked Corned Beef or Easy Smoked Meatballs. The combination of savory pancakes and protein makes for a very satisfying meal.

For a vegetarian option, top the Polish potato pancakes with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted cherry tomatoes, or Smoked vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant.

Polish potato pancakes also pair very well with guacamole and salsa for a Mexican twist, or with tzatziki and chopped cucumbers for a Greek-inspired flavor.

Serve potato pancakes as a side dish alongside hearty main courses such as roasted meats, grilled sausages, or stews (Black Eyed Pea Stew). The crispy texture of the pancakes pairs well with rich and flavorful dishes.

Sweet option (omit the onion in the batter) – serve them with a dollop of yogurt, sprinkle of granulated sugar, generous shmear of Smoked Apple Butter or apple sauce.

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potatoes pancakes styled on a serving platter; small bowls and dishes with various garnishes

Easy Placki Ziemniaczane Recipe

Deeply rooted in Polish cuisine – Placki Ziemniaczane are a favorite dish of many. Easy to make they pair very well with many dishes.
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Polish
Servings 4
Calories 163 kcal

Equipment

  • Box grater or food processor
  • Chef's knife & cutting board
  • vegetable peeler
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk or fork to mix the batter
  • Skillet for frying
  • Spatula for flipping
  • Paper towels or wire rack

Ingredients
 
 

  • 3-4 potatoes
  • 1 small onion optional
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Salt, pepper
  • Oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • Wash and peel the potatoes using a vegetable peeler.
  • Peel and finely chop or grate the onion. This step is optional but adds flavor to the pancakes.
  • Using a box grater or a food processor grate the potatoes. Aim for fine texture for smoother pancakes.
  • Transfer the grated potatoes into a clean cheesecloth or kitchen towel. Gather the edges of the towel or cheesecloth and twist them together to form a pouch around the grated potatoes. Squeeze the pouch tightly to press out as much liquid as possible from the grated potatoes.
  • You can use the starch collected at the bottom of the bowl (from draining the potatoes) as a thickening agent for the batter. Discard the water.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the grated potatoes and onion (if using). Mix well to combine.
  • Add the lightly beaten egg to the potato mixture.
  • Gradually add the flour to the batter, mixing until it is fully incorporated.
  • Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Allow the oil to heat up.
  • Once the oil is hot, spoon the potato batter into the skillet. Using about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake seems optimal. Gently flatten the batter into round pancake shapes.
  • Cook the pancakes for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Use a spatula to carefully flip the pancakes halfway through cooking.
  • As the pancakes finish cooking, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  • Serve the placki ziemniaczane warm, topped with your favorite toppings. Read below How to best enjoy Placki Ziemniaczane.

Notes

Grate potatoes finely to ensure a smoother batter and better texture in the pancakes. Use a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment for best results.
Remove excess moisture after grating the potatoes. Squeeze out excess moisture using a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth. This step helps to prevent soggy pancakes and ensures crispiness when frying.
Season generously, don’t skimp on the seasoning! Be sure to season the batter with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add other herbs and spices for extra flavor, such as garlic powder, paprika, or dried herbs like parsley or dill.

Nutrition

Serving: 4pieceCalories: 163kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 5gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 26mgPotassium: 732mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 63IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mg
Keyword placki ziemniaczane, potato pancakes
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Polish Potato Pancakes Conclusion

I hope you love this “przepis na placki ziemniaczane” (aka recipe for potato pancakes)! Now you know why placki ziemniaczane are a so beloved in Polish cuisine. With their their crispy exterior and tender interior they are a great vessel for savory or sweet dish (click HERE to ready more). Whether enjoyed as a comforting meal, a crowd-pleasing appetizer at gatherings, these Polish potato pancakes never fail.

Remember whether you prefer this “przepis na placki ziemniaczane” traditional style with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives or enjoy experimenting with bold flavor combinations and innovative toppings, placki ziemniaczane offer endless possibilities for culinary creativity.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, making potato pancakes (placki ziemniaczane) is going to be a rewarding and delicious culinary journey.

Polish Potato Pancakes FAQs

What are placki ziemniaczane?

Placki ziemniaczane are traditional Polish potato pancakes made from grated potatoes mixed with eggs, flour, and seasoning. They are fried until golden brown and crispy on the outside while remaining tender on the inside.

What is the difference between placki ziemniaczane and latkes?

Placki ziemniaczane and latkes are both types of potato pancakes, but they come from different culinary traditions. Placki ziemniaczane are Polish potato pancakes typically made with grated potatoes, eggs, and flour, while latkes are Jewish potato pancakes often made with grated potatoes, onions, and matzo meal or breadcrumbs.

Can I make placki ziemniaczane ahead of time?

Yes, you can make placki ziemniaczane ahead of time and reheat them later. Simply allow the pancakes to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Reheat them in a skillet, oven, toaster, or microwave until heated through.

Can I make placki ziemniaczane gluten-free?

Yes, you can make gluten-free placki ziemniaczane by using a gluten-free flour blend or almond flour instead of wheat flour. Additionally, ensure that any other ingredients you use, such as seasonings or toppings, are gluten-free.

What are the best toppings for placki ziemniaczane?

Some popular toppings for placki ziemniaczane include sour cream, apple butter, chopped fresh herbs (such as chives or parsley), crispy bacon or sausage, smoked salmon, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and pickled vegetables.

Can I make placki ziemniaczane vegan?

Yes, you can make vegan placki ziemniaczane by omitting the eggs and using a commercial egg replacer or a flaxseed or chia seed “egg” (1 tablespoon ground seeds + 3 tablespoons water per egg). Additionally, ensure that any other ingredients you use, such as toppings or cooking oil, are vegan-friendly.

What type of potatoes should I use for placki ziemniaczane?

Starchy potatoes such as Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes are commonly used for placki ziemniaczane because they have a higher potato starch content, which helps bind the pancakes together. However, you can use any type of potato you prefer.

Are placki ziemniaczane served as a main dish or a side dish?

Placki ziemniaczane can be served as either a main dish or a side dish, depending on personal preference and how they are prepared. They can be enjoyed on their own with toppings as a main course or served alongside other dishes. Click HERE to read more about how to best enjoy Placki Ziemniaczane.

Can I make placki ziemniaczane without flour and egg?

Yes, you can make placki ziemniaczane without using eggs and flour, but the texture and consistency may be different from traditional recipe. You can use cornstarch (half of the flour amount) and a flaxseed or chia seed egg substitute.

Can I use frozen hash browns instead of potatoes?

Yes, using frozen hash browns is a convenient alternative to fresh potatoes and can save you a lot of time. Just make sure to thaw the hash browns completely and drain them well to remove any excess moisture before adding them to the batter – this step makes for a crispier pancake.

Can I use the potato starch that settles at the bottom after grating and draining the potatoes?

Yes, absolutely! After grating and draining the potatoes, you’ll notice a white, starchy residue at the bottom of the bowl. This is potato starch, and it’s a great asset for your potato pancake batter. Instead of discarding it, you can mix this starch back into the batter. It acts as a natural binder, helping your pancakes hold together better, and contributes to achieving that desired crispy texture on the outside. Just make sure to gently pour off the water without losing this precious starch.

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Bob Clark
Bob Clark
28 days ago

4 stars
Another option is cottage cheese with grape jelly sounds gross but it is so good