These fried mashed potato cakes will have you making extra mashed potatoes just so you can have leftovers.
The Story Behind Fried Mashed Potato Cakes
My Dad was a meat and potato kind of guy. Vegetables were OK...along with the occasional taco and pasta, but meat and potatoes were the mainstays. So growing up, I had a variety of potato preparations. Scallop potato, mashed potato, boiled potato, fried potato...baked potato. But one of my very favorite potato preparations was Fried Mashed Potato Cakes, made with left-over mashed potato. Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside. Oh, so good.
Mom used to make hers with just the left-over potato, an egg, flour, salt, and pepper. Formed into a patty and fried. Over the years, I've been making mine with a light panko crust, which really enhances the crunchiness of the outside of the cake.
For this recipe, I used leftover mashed potato from dinner a few nights earlier, where I had added some caramelized onions to the mix. While not necessary, it certainly was good. You can use just plain old Mashed Potatoes or even my recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Carrot and Caramelized Onion. Just be sure to use REAL mashed potatoes, not Potato Buds!
A perfect use for left-over mashed potatoes
When mixing the ingredients together, you will find that the dough is quite sticky. That's good. It means you have a proper dough-like state and the potato cake will stay together when you cook it.
I like to make my Fried Mashed Potato Cakes a little on the thick side because I love the crunchy outside and tender inside. If you like yours to have more crunch, then just make them thinner. Also, if you are making them with just mashed potatoes, adding some chopped green onion is nice.
Important things to know when making Fried Mashed Potato Cakes
One of the most important parts of making this recipe is to make sure your pan and the oil in it is hot before you add the actual cakes so they fry, and don't just sit there absorbing oil - then you have greasy potato cakes, not crispy potato cakes. You should only need to add a small bit of oil to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom; then I like to add a nice pat of butter to it, just a little added flavor. Once that has finished foaming, add the cakes and cook over medium heat until nice and browned, turn and finish the other side. If you are making them thick, then you might want to pop them into a 350º oven for about 5 to 10 minutes after you brown them, just to ensure they are warmed all the way through. A cold middle is NOT good eats.
Once you make these, I have a feeling you will be making extra mashed potatoes from here on out!
Yep, they are that good.
So LindySez asks: What are you going to serve your Fried Mashed Potato Cakes with?
Fried Mashed Potato Cakes
- 2 cups cold left-over mashed potatoes
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup flour or as needed to make a sticky dough
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley (optional)
- ¼ cup minced green onion (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup or as needed, Panko bread crumbs
- 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter (optional)
- Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the egg along with the flour, parsley, and onion. Mix well, until a sticky dough has formed, adding small amounts of flour as needed. (The amount of flour will vary slightly depending on how dry your potatoes are, wetter potatoes will require more flour). Add a small amount of salt and freshly ground pepper and mix well.
- Place the panko in a wide bowl or on a plate.
- Using a ¼ measure; take a scoop of the potato mixture, then using your hands form into a patty cake; you can make them thicker or thinner as you prefer. Dip both sides of the cake into the panko, pressing lightly to make the crumbs adhere. Set aside. Proceed until all the potato is used.
- Heat your skillet over medium heat; add the oil, when hot add the pat of butter if using. Swirl this around to mix. Carefully add the potato cakes to the skillet and cook, turning once, until both sides are nicely browned and the center is hot. If the cake is browning too quickly and the center is not hot, place the pan into a 350ºF oven for about 5 minutes.