Reibekuchen: Classic German Potato Pancake
A traditional recipe!
Every time I go back to Germany, the first thing I do is meet my dad in Cologne at the train station in front of the Koelner Dom to walk to Gaffel Koelsch and order Reibekuchen and Koelsch.
Cooking time: 45 min
Difficulty level: easy with high reward on taste!
Style: Comfort food. Savory or sweet. On its own or as a side dish to a savory meal.
Serving Size: 3-4 People
How to serve it: I love pairing it with smoked salmon, steak tartar, a savory slow-cooked roat, or even with Apfelmus (apple sauce) which is one of the most traditional pairings.
Wine Pairing: Depending on what you are eating with it, I would suggest a high-acid wine like Riesling or my favorite pairing if you love smoked Salmon “Bettina Schumann Pinot Gris A La Pink“.
This Pinot Gris is skin-fermented hence its pink color and name, and is a great partner for greasy food. It is an easy game for the Pinot Gris to hold up with the oily smoked salmon and the baked Reibekuchen, try it!
Ingredients for the Reibekuchen
In addition to a cooking wine (a wine you’ll enjoy while making the Reibelkuchen), you would want to chill the wine you want to pair the Reibekuchen with.
- 1 kg potatoes (2.2 pounds or 10 med. sized potatoes)
- 3 small onions
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- high-heat cooking oil for frying
What else you’d need
- cheese grater
- paper towels to rest the Reibekuchen on and soak up some of the cooking oil
- mixing bowl
How to make them
- Peel the potatoes and onions and grate them using a fine grater or a food processor.
- Place the grated potatoes and onions on a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much water as possible. This will help getting them nice and crispy.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the grated potatoes, eggs, flour, salt, and pepper as well as nutmeg. Mix everything together until you have a thick, batter-like consistency. I usually use my hands which is more fun too.
- Heat up a decent amount of the high-heat cooking oil in a frying pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add spoonfuls of the potato mix into the pan and flatten them.
- Fry the Reibekuchen until they are crispy and golden on both sides.
- Place the cooked Reibekuchen on paper towels on a plate or mash tray to soak up any excess oil.
Topping (optional but my favorite pairing)
- Sour creme or Creme Fraiche
- Green onions or chives
- Smoked salmon
The History and Origin of Reibekuchen
It is debatable where the Reibekuchen originated because so many places around the world have similar styles in their cuisine.
In Germany, Reibekuchen dates back centuries and has a long tradition. It actually used to be a peasant food made from easily accessible ingredients like potatoes and onions. Depending on where you are in Europe or even region in Germany, they are called Rösti, Latkes, Kartoffel Puffel and Rievkooche in Cologne where I am from.
Guten Appetit, Prost and keep drinking like a German! Eure Lisa