The potato pancake is a quintessential German dish. Until I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, however, I did not realize that there were two major types of potato pancakes. Regular potato pancakes, or reibekuchen and Siegerländer reibekuchen.
Here in the Midwest, it is pretty easy to find restaurants that serve at least one of these two varieties. For example, here in Cincinnati, you can get regular potato pancakes at Mecklenburg Gardens or Christy's and Leinhardt's. Siegerlander reibekuchen can be found at Izzy's. If you are ever in Cincinnati, you should try to visit each of these establishments. They are sehr gut!!
Siegerländers differ from the regular potato pancakes in that they are made with wheat flour and yeast in addition to potatoes so they are a less dense and more like a deep fried potato bread hybrid. The recipe that follows is for the traditional regular potato pancake.
5 waxy potatoes (like these)
1 yellow onion, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
oil or butter for frying
- Skin potatoes and then grate them coarsely.
- Wrap the potatoes in a clean dish cloth and squeeze out the water.
- Put the potatoes into a large bowl along with the onion, eggs, salt, and pepper.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Pour enough oil in a cast iron skillet to cover the bottom of the skillet.
- Preheat the skillet over medium heat.
- Drop spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the pan and pat them down with the back of the spoon to form a pancake.
- Cook on both sides until golden brown.
- Serve hot.