Monday, December 10, 2012

Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat

With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat

Duck fat is what I like to refer to as the “Cadillac of Schmaltz.”  In the hierarchy of fats, I am told that it ranks higher then bacon fat. (Not that I would know personally.)  It provides a richness that cannot be reproduced by other fats.  The fennel, with its strong licorice flavor, acts to balance the richness from the duck fat and give some more character to the latke.

I shred my potatoes as opposed to grinding them for a more rustic texture and look, likely because that is how my mother makes hers.


·         6 medium russet potatoes

·         3 large eggs, beaten

·         1 fennel bulb, top and bottom removed

·         1 cup all-purpose flour

·         Salt and pepper to taste

·         Duck fat for frying

Makes approximately 18 medium-sized latkes.

Peel the potatoes and shred them along with the fennel in a food processor or with a box grater.   Transfer the shredded potatoes and fennel to a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, salt, and pepper ad mix thoroughly with your hands.  Add 2 tablespoons of duck fat to your pan, and heat it over medium heat until it is hot.  Form palm-sized patties from the latke mixture and fry until golden brown on one side, and then flip and fry on the other side.  Remove from frying pan to a paper-towel lined plate to cool briefly.  Serve hot.

Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

For my apple sauce I modified Alton Brown’s “10 Minute Apple Sauce” recipe.   Chinese five spice powder is a spice blend consisting of cinnamon, powdered star anise and anise seed, powdered ginger and ground cloves.  The anise compliments the fennel in the latkes.

  • 2 Michigan Red, 2 Granny Smith, and 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled cored, and quartered (Original recipe called for 3 Golden Delicious apples and 3 Fuji Apples but I like a little more variety)
  • 1 cup apple juice (Original recipe called for unfiltered apple juice but I used what I had in the house)
  • 2 tablespoons rum (Original recipe called for cognac or brandy, but again I used what I had in the house)
  • 2 tablespoons margarine (Original recipe called for butter, but I needed to keep it non-dairy)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (Original recipe called for ground cinnamon but I wanted something with a little more character)

This recipe is super simple.  Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe container, cover loosely, and microwave on high until the apples are soft, about 10 minutes (Your microwave may vary).  Then using an immersion blender, sometimes known as a stick blender, puree until desired consistency. 

Makes about 6 cups, depending on the size of your apples.
Related Post: A Trio of Latkes

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:

Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes

Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin

Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Yosef from This American Bite made Latkes & Brisket on Rye
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can't Believe They're Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes

Donuts and Desserts:
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi's Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn't Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
The Gluten Free maven made Gluten Free Vegan Cake Donuts
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies

Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:
Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who's Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita's Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!
Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables


  1. Certainly sounds delicious. There's a typo in your URL so links from the blog party can't find this post.

  2. sounds amazing! My favourite chanukah food is sufganiyot. I wait all year for them

  3. what an interesting variation! for me no Chanuka is complete without latkes that's for sure! This blog party sure is fantastic with being able to discover new amazing blogs like yours! Have a Happy Chanuka! Gigi. food and beauty blogger @ gigi's kitchen:

  4. You are a woman after my own heart with the addition of the asian spices. I need to get my hands on some duck fat!

    1. @CrispyBitsnBurntEnds Thanks. I buck the trend in this world and dare to be a male kosher food blogger. :)

    2. Daniel, for a while I thought I was the only male food blogger out there. We should talk more often!! Sorry if my comment earlier was brief, I was on a cell and wanted to let you know. This is a great post and I look forward to following you.

    3. @thisamericanbite no worries. At the kosher blogging confrence a few weeks ago it was very obvious that we are in the minority. Everyone was like it is just you and this american bite.

  5. I like freshly made Donuts! We just go a deep fryer which made it so much easier!!!

  6. This recipe looks amazing! Nice to find your blog at this little (or shouldI say BIG) party we're having. Happy Chanukah!

  7. I love fennel, I must try these, they sound great!

  8. This recipe really makes me want to go out and get my hands on a duck!

  9. um, my favorite chanuka treat is chocolate gelt!

  10. Simply fat is not difficult to obtain here in France (with all of the magret consumption in our house)...and the fennel and chinese five-spice send these latkes into another culinary realm altogether...Just discovered your exquisite blog..and I am so impressed. Bravo et merci bien.

  11. I love latkes, and the using Chinese five spice powder in the applesauce is such a great idea. And there is at least one more male kosher blogger: Nossi Fogel of The Kosher Gastronome.

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  14. Tnx fore the information
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