Traditional Latkes Recipe, Like Molly Goldberg

The iconic Molly Goldberg

Molly Goldberg is a fictional character from a popular American radio and television show called “The Goldbergs.” Portrayed by Gertrude Berg, Molly Goldberg was the warm-hearted matriarch of a Jewish family living in the Bronx, New York. The show was one of the earliest and most successful depictions of a Jewish family on American television, running from the 1920s through the 1950s. Molly Goldberg was known for her kindness, humor, and the way she navigated daily life while caring for her family and community. She became an iconic figure in early American television history.

The iconic Molly Goldberg

Gertrude Berg, the actress who portrayed Molly Goldberg in the show “The Goldbergs,” wrote a cookbook called “The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook“. In addition to her acting career, Gertrude was a talented writer and created this cookbook, which featured a collection of Jewish recipes. The cookbook not only included traditional Jewish dishes but also reflected the warmth and spirit of the character she portrayed on television, Molly Goldberg. It became a cherished culinary resource for many households interested in Jewish cuisine and traditions.

I hope you enjoy her Latkes recipe as much as I do. It’s easy and quick to make and tastes delicious.

The Jewish tradition of eating fried foods like latkes

Latkes are incredibly popular during Hanukkah! They’re one of the signature dishes associated with the holiday. These crispy potato pancakes, fried to golden perfection, hold a special place in Hanukkah celebrations. The tradition of eating fried foods, like latkes, stems from the oil miracle that is central to the Hanukkah story. Since Hanukkah commemorates the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days, foods cooked in oil, such as latkes, are commonly enjoyed to honor that miracle. Families often gather to make and savor these delicious latkes together during the holiday.

Molly Goldberg's traditional latkes recipe


5 medium russet potatoes, grated

1 onion, grated

2 eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons matzo meal

1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

2 slices egg bread knead with water, then gently squeeze out the moisture

Salt and pepper, to taste

Vegetable or peanut oil (or shortening) for frying

Do like this

Place grated potato and onion in a strainer over a large bowl. Knead to remove moisture, then let it sit for 15 minutes to extract potato starch. Discard water, keeping starch at the bowl’s bottom.

Transfer the potato and onion mix to a tea towel or cheesecloth, squeezing out remaining moisture. Return to the bowl with other ingredients. Mix well, including the starch.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of latke mixture into a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pan-fry with a light amount of oil for about 5 minutes on each side until browned and crisp. Once done, drain on paper towels and keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve. Repeat until the batter is used up.

Latkes pair wonderfully with sour cream and applesauce. Enjoy!

Getting ready for Hanukkah!