Draniki – 3-Ingredients Crispy Potato Pancakes

It’s hard to believe, but these wonderfully delicious Crispy Potato Pancakes are made with only three main ingredients – grated potato, onion, and some cornstarch. I think such basic seasonings like salt and pepper could hardly count as a separate ingredient. You will also need a decent amount of vegetable oil for frying, but that’s about it. The whole process will take less than 45 minutes, and the result will definitely surprise you.

This beautiful Slavic dish is one of the favorite staples in Russian and Ukrainian cuisine. The proper name of these pancakes is Draniki and the original recipe comes from Belarus. If you want to see a step-by-step Draniki video tutorial click here.

Crispy Potato Pancakes Tips and Tricks
  1. Make sure to drain the excess moisture before frying your potato pancakes. Cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve will work great. This little trick will help your pancakes to get extra crispy.
  2. Use neutral oil with a high smoking point. I find that sunflower, canola, and grape seed oils work best. They don’t leave a funky smell when heat over intense heat.
  3. A non-stick skillet or well-seasoned cast-iron frying pan will help to make the whole process much more manageable. Also, use a thin and flexible spatula to flip Draniki in one quick motion.
How to Serve Draniki

In Ukraine, traditionally we serve Draniki with a generous portion of our beloved sour cream, but we also have some other variation:

  1. Crispy fried onion. Remember, sour cream first, then top it with the fried onion.
  2. Mushroom sauce. It’s a very simple but flavorful addition. Just sauté a handful of your favorite mushrooms with a finely chopped onion until soft. Then add some heavy cream and gently simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.
  3. Sour cream and caviar. The most iconic pairing. A shot of ice-cold vodka won’t hurt as well 🙂

If you’re looking for more vegetarian recipes you should definitely check out this beautiful Pan-Fried Zucchini with Yogurt Dressing.




  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potato peeled
  • 1 yellow onion about 6 oz, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sunflower or vegetable oil for frying
  • sour cream for serving
  • 1 tablespoon chives for garnish



  • Finely grate the potato and onion using a metal grater with small holes. The consistency should be slightly coarser than pure. Place the grated vegetable mass in a large mesh sieve and lightly press with a large spoon to drain the excess moisture. Transfer the mass to a medium bowl and stir in salt, pepper, and cornstarch.
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop about 2 tablespoons of grated vegetables and place on a skillet, gently flatten it out with a back of a spoon to form a round pancake. Repeat with the remaining mass.
  • Fry a few pancakes at a time, make sure to not crowd the pan. Fry each pancake until golden and crispy on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Top with sour cream and chives.


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