Alice Zaslavsky’s brilliant tricks for perfect potato rosti via ABC Radio Perth

Loaded Potato Rösti

Makes 2 (Serves 4) Takes 30 mins
Rösti, hash-browns, latkes, tortilla, aloo tikki – any culture that’s cooking spuds is finding a way to fry them into a fritter. Traditionally, what sets the Swiss rösti apart is that it is larger and contains nothing but potato… so I guess you could say that, true to form, mine is a bit of a latke-rösti hybrid. The grated onion really sweetens the flavour and lightens the mix overall, whilst using the starch-harvesting trick I usually implement for latke season yields the crispiest crunch without leaving the inside gluey. I also love to top it with the kinds of things latkes – and rösti – really love, then slice it like a potato-based pizza. I’ve popped some garnish ideas in my top tips, but the world really is your oyster… come to think of it, even smoked oysters could work!


  • 28cm pan (I use ceramic non-stick, but a well-seasoned cast iron pan will be good too)



  • 6 medium-sized starchy potatoes approx. 1.2kg
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 160 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt flakes plus extra for finishing



  • Coarsely grate the potato and onion using a box grater or food processor. Pop a clean tea towel into a large mixing bowl, scoop the potato mix into the tea towel and season with the salt flakes. Squeeze the salt into the mix with your fingers.
  • Twist the towel up into a swag, then squeeze with all your might to let the liquid drip out into the bowl below. I like to use a wooden spoon to act as a tourniquet, but you’re welcome to just use brute force. It’s quite the workout! Don’t throw out the liquid just yet!
  • Transfer the potato mix into a fresh bowl, then after 10 minutes, pour off the liquid in the bowl, leaving the gluey starch at the bottom of the bowl. Transfer this starch to the potato mix and reincorporate with your hands.
  • Heat a 28cm heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat, and add a quarter of your oil into the bottom of the pan (it’s roughly 2-3 tbsp, depending on your tablespoon of choice!).
  • Sprinkle in half of your potato mix loosely. Set the timer for 15 minutes, then walk away to live your life, get your garnishes together, maybe make a salad.
  • After 15 minutes, come back and scoop in the sides. Use a chopping board or large flat plate that fits just inside the pan, shake the pan gently to loosen the rösti, then pop the plate on top and flip with confidence (careful of leaky oil… but you should be right!)
  • Pour another quarter of the oil into the bottom of the pan and carefully usher the rösti back in on the other side with a few choice words and a spatula. Set the timer for another 10 minutes. Go set the table, have a sip of water.
  • Slip the finished rösti onto a serving platter or chopping board and load up with your chosen accoutrements (see top tips).
  • Before you head to the table, pop half of the remaining oil into the pan, sprinkle in the rest of your potato mix, set the timer for 15 minutes and away you go! By the time the first rösti is well on its way to being devoured, your second should be coming up for a flip. Repeat steps 6-8.


Top Tips:
Remember that the stickier the spud, the crispier the rosti, so it’s a starchy potato you’re after. Look for signs for ‘mashing’ or ‘roasting’ potatoes, but if you *must* use a waxy, salad potato, then consider adding a tablespoon of potato starch or Deb (the powdered mash you get from the shops!) to boost the sticking power.
If you’ve any schmaltz (chicken fat) or duck fat in the fridge, try frying this using that! It’ll give for a richer flavour, and you’ll likely need far less slices to feel satisfied – which is both a blessing and a curse.
For garnishing, unleash your inner Scando with smoked fish or roe, crème fraiche or sour cream, dill, chives, Spanish onion, a lemon cheek – all flavours that are just glorious on top. If plant-based is more your speed, then try some avocado slices and plant-based cream cheese or sour cream, squirt with lemon juice, and garnish with plenty of herbs, of course.