Lapcsánka alias potato pancakes

by | Oct 21, 2015 | Vegetable dishes

There is perhaps no other food that has more names in the Hungarian language than potato pancake. Tócsni, lapcsánka or röszti – they are only three from its 60 names. Whatever it’s called, everyone certainly knows this comfort food: grated potatoes mixed with some flour, flattened into pancake form and shallow-fried in oil or lard. Popular, cheap and delicious.

Potato pancakes can be made in many different ways. Potatoes can be grated finely or coarsly; there are those who mix the grated potatoes with only flour and salt, others add eggs and onions, or finely chopped parsley leaves, grated zucchini, carrot or celeriac root to the mixture, too. They can be fried in oil or lard on the stove or roasted in the oven.

Potato pancakes are often served with some kind of sauce: the most popular one is sour cream flavoured with crushed garlic (I add summer savory, too, whose smell and taste are reminiscent of black pepper), but they can be topped with the mixture of oil and crushed garlic, or with mustard and ketchup, or herbed yogurt.

Potato pancakesphoto:


  • 1 kg (~2 1/4 lb) potatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp oat flakes
  • 1 heaping tbsp flour
  • 2 heaping tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • small bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • lard or oil for shallow-frying

For the serving:

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • pinch of summer savory

Grate potatoes with garlic into a large bowl. Drain off any excess liquid. Mix in eggs, salt, black pepper, paprika and finely chopped parsley leaves. Add flour and oat flakes to make the mixture thick.

Heat 1/4 inch lard or oil in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon 3-4 mounds into hot lard, and flatten to make 1/2 inch thick pancakes. Fry both sides until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

Serve hot, with sour cream flavoured with garlic and summer savory.

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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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