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Polish Potato Pancakes Placki Ziemniaczane Recipe

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Polish potato pancakes with sour cream and green onions on a plate.

These traditional Polish potato pancakes or placki ziemniaczane are made from freshly grated potatoes. Crispy and crunchy, they go well with sour cream, goulash, or simply condiments! 

What Are Placki Ziemniaczane?

Placki ziemniaczane are very similar to American hash browns or Jewish latkes. You could call them Polish hash browns!

Placki Ziemniaczane are tasty Polish potato cakes made simply with grated potatoes, eggs, and fresh spices. You could eat them as a snack or a meal in itself. 

They’ve been made in Poland since the 16th-century when it was found that they were much more than just flowering plants. They were a staple meal in the 17th-century monasteries in Poland. 

An old recipe from the Stoczek Warmiński region in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship shows them being made with an onion, a spoon of wheat flour, and two eggs for every kilo of potatoes

They also satisfied the hunger of the Polish commonfolk during difficult times. 

Some people prefer eating Polish potato pancakes as a sweet dessert, while others prefer it savory. 

The most popular way to eat Polish potato pancakes is to have it with goulash (placek po wegiersku). I don’t like it because it’s too heavy. Meaty sauce and fried pancakes are just too much for me!

But many of my family love it. So I have to post babcia’s recipe for my friends and family!

Placki ziemniaczane in a ceramic dish.
Placki ziemniaczane in a ceramic dish

How To Make Authentic Polish Potato Pancakes

The Polish potato pancakes recipe is really easy to make. Simply grate the potatoes and drain the water from them. You can grate them thick or fine depending on your choice. 

If you want them super soft, you can make the Polish potato pancakes in blender.

Grated potatoes in a pot.
Grated potatoes with salt and flour
Straining the potatoes.
Straining the potatoes
Grated potatoes.
Grated potatoes fully drained
Drained potato water.
Drained potato water

Once you’ve drained all the water, mix it with the eggs and salt. Then add a clove of crushed garlic and diced onion and mix well.

Add eggs to the potato dough.
Add eggs
Add crushed garlic.
Add crushed garlic and diced onion

Heat up a skillet with oil and add a tablespoon of placki dough at a time. Fry for a few minutes till it’s golden brown on each side.

Serve with your favorite topping!

Add a spoonful of potato dough to the frying pan.
Add a spoonful of potato dough to the frying pan
Frying potato pancakes.
Fry on both sides till golden brown
Serve placki ziemniaczane with sour cream.
Serve placki ziemniaczane with sour cream
Sprinkle chopped chives on the placki ziemniaczane.
Sprinkle chopped chives on the placki ziemniaczane

Tips For The Best Polish Potato Pancake Recipe

  • Use room temperature potatoes. Cold potatoes don’t work well!
  • Make sure you fry potato pancakes in really hot oil or lard. If the oil is not hot enough, the pancakes will absorb the fat.
  • If you want your potato pancakes to be softer, blend or grate them finely. If you want them to be crispier, grate them.
  • You can use pre-made garlic paste instead of crushed garlic. 
  • Potato pancakes taste best right after frying!
  • Serve with homemade farmer’s cheese or goulash!
  • Sprinkle with chopped chives before serving!
Placki ziemniaczane on a red plate.
Serve the placki ziemniaczane warm!

FAQS About Traditional Polish Potato Pancakes

Why Are My Polish Potato Cakes Not Crunchy?

If you try to cook too many potato pancakes at a time, the temperature of the cooking oil will drop and the pancakes will absorb oil. This makes them soggy instead of crunchy. So make sure you cook a few at a time and the oil temperature is sufficiently hot!

How To Stop The Placki Ziemniaczane From Falling Apart? 

If you’re placki are falling apart they probably need more binding. You can do any of these things to fix it:

  • Add more egg to the mixture, or
  • Add a tablespoon or two of potato starch, or
  •  Put the mixture in the refrigerator for an hour before cooking so that it firms up

What’s The Difference Between Hash Browns And Placki Ziemniaczane?

Potatoes used in hash browns have a thicker texture while those used in placki ziemniaczane are grated finer. Hash browns are deep-fried while Polish potato pancakes are shallow fried. 

What’s The Difference Between Latkes And Placki Ziemniaczane?

Although latkes are shallow fried like placki ziemniaczane, the potatoes used in Jewish latkes are thick like those in hash browns. 

Can I Use Frozen Hash Browns For This Recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen hash browns for this recipe, but the placki will be thicker and the taste will be a little different!

What To Serve Polish Potato Pancakes With?

The most popular add-ons for Polish potato pancakes are:

What Do I Do With Leftover Potato Pancakes?

Leftover potato pancakes can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat with oil or lard before serving!

Polish Potato Pancakes Placki Ziemniaczane Recipe

Yield: 12 potato pancakes

Polish Potato Pancakes Placki Ziemniaczane Recipe

Sprinkle chopped chives on the placki ziemniaczane.

These traditional Polish potato pancakes or placki ziemniaczane are made from freshly grated potatoes. Crispy and crunchy, they go well with sour cream, goulash, or condiments! 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2.2 lbs (1kg) of potatoes
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 garlic clove (optionally)
  • 1 onion (optionally)
  • oil to fry


  1. Peel potatoes, then grate or shred them.
  2. Place potatoes on the strainer that's placed over a bowl or pot.
  3. Using your hand or a spoon, press the potatoes to remove the excessive water.
  4. Mix drained potatoes with salt and eggs. You may also add diced onion and crushed garlic clove.
  5. Gently remove the remaining potato water until there is only white potato starch left on the bottom. Add it to the pancake mixture and mix.
  6. Heat up the oil on the skillet or pancake pan.
  7. When the oil is hot, start frying the pancakes. Gently place 1 tablespoon of the dough on the oil and press to form a pancake.
  8. Fry for about 3-5 minutes on each side.
  9. After frying, place potato pancakes on a plate lined with paper towels.
  10. Serve right away solo, with your favorite add-ons.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 230mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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