Deruny (Draniki) – Ukrainian Potato Pancakes

$2.77 recipe / $0.46 serving
by Olena Osipov
4.84 from 6 votes
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I learned to make Deruny (Ukrainian potato pancakes) when I was growing up and they’ve been a favorite of mine ever since. They’re easy, budget-friendly, filling, and taste like home! I know you’re going to love this simple but delicious recipe.

Close up of potato pancakes on a plate with sour cream.

What is Deruny?

Deruny, also called Draniki, are traditional Ukrainian potato pancakes made with finely grated raw potatoes, onion, flour, and eggs. The pancakes are pan-fried in a generous amount of any mild-tasting or neutral oil, like avocado oil.

The name Deruny means “to grate” and while it’s a labor-intensive process that requires a bit of muscle work, it is that process that results in an authentic dish. You can combine all ingredients in a food processor to speed up the process. The taste will be slightly different, but it still works.

What to Serve with Deruny

Deruny are traditionally served with a dollop of sour cream as a main dish for dinner or breakfast. In Ukraine, savory dishes, especially potatoes, are a popular breakfast food.

Deruny can also be served as a part of a large spread or as a side dish at large gatherings or celebrations.

You can pair deruny with quick and easy traditional Ukrainian cucumber and tomato salad.

What Else Can I Add to Potato Pancakes?

Deruny is a very simple recipe. However, there are some variations among the families mostly due to personal taste preferences and ingredients available on hand.

I use russet potatoes but yellow Yukon gold or red potatoes will also work. Any potato will work except baby potatoes, of course. You can use yellow or white onion.

You can add a clove or two of freshly grated garlic and a bit of chopped fresh dill. If you have gluten intolerance I am pretty sure you can use all-purpose gluten-free flour, just not almond flour or coconut flour.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. That’s if you have any! No need to reheat as deruny taste amazing cold!

Tips for Making Potato Pancakes

  • Keep peeled potatoes in a bowl with cold water while peeling and grating other potatoes to prevent from browning.
  • Make sure to wear gloves when grating potatoes and onion. It is very easy to damage your skin when grating on star-shaped side of the grater.
  • Use mild tasting oil like avocado oil, light olive oil or grapeseed oil for frying as deruny absorb quite a bit of oil during frying. Extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil will overpower the taste of potato pancakes.
Overhead view of potato pancakes on a plate with sour cream.

Deruny (Ukrainian Potato Pancakes)

4.84 from 6 votes
Deruny, also called Draniki, are traditional Ukrainian potato pancakes made with finely grated raw potatoes, onion, flour, and eggs.
Close up side view of Deruny on a plate with sour cream.
Servings 6 about 5 Deruny each
Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs. russet potatoes ($1.75)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.38)
  • 2 large eggs ($0.39)
  • 2-3 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper ($0.02)
  • 3-4 Tbsp cooking oil (for frying) ($0.16)

Instructions 

  • Peel the potatoes and onion, then rinse with cold water.
  • In a large bowl, grate potatoes and onion on the star-shaped side of a grater, taking turns and mixing the grated mixture. This will prevent potatoes from browning.
  • Add eggs, flour, salt, and pepper and mix well. The batter will be on a liquid side. Alternatively, you can prepare it in a food processor by grinding all ingredients together until no large chunks are left, for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add a large spoonful of pancake batter and fry until golden brown, flip and cook on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Serve the deruny hot with a dollop of sour cream. Makes about 30 deruny.

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Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 5derunyCalories: 252kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSodium: 421mgFiber: 3g
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Deruny in a skillet and on a plate.

How to Make Deruny (Potato Pancakes) – Step by Step Photos

Ingredients for potato pancakes.

For these simply potato pancakes you’ll need about 2-2.5 lbs. Russet potatoes, one yellow onion, two large eggs, 2-3 tbsp all-purpose, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, and 3-4 tbsp oil for frying.

Peeled potatoes and onions.

First, peel the onion and potatoes, then rinse with cold water.

Grated potato and onion in a bowl.

Grate the potatoes and onion on the star-shaped side of a grater into a large bowl, taking turns and mixing the grated mixture. This will prevent potatoes from browning.

Other ingredients for potato pancakes added to the bowl.

Add eggs, flour, salt, and pepper to the grated potatoes and onions, and mix well.

Potato pancake batter in a bowl with a spatula.

The batter will be slightly liquid. Alternatively, you can prepare it in a food processor by grinding all ingredients together until no large chunks are left, for about 3-4 minutes.

Potato pancakes in a skillet half-cooked.

Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add a large spoonful of pancake batter and fry until golden brown.

Flipped deruny in the skillet.

Flip the deruny and cook on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Side view of Deruny on a plate with sour cream.

Serve the deruny hot with a dollop of sour cream. Makes about 30 deruny.

Overhead view of a plate full of Deruny with a dish of sour cream.
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  1. Thank you for the recipe! Do you think it would work with frozen shredded potatoes?

    1. We haven’t tested it with that ingredient, so we can’t say definitively. But it seems like a delicious experiment! XOXO -Monti

  2. Worked like a charm. Soooo good. Reminds me of my baba! What do you suggest serving it with? I threw in some Harvest Ukrainian sausage (the best on the planet from Yorkton, Saskatchewan); other suggestions?

    1. The author suggests the following in the blog post: “You can pair deruny with quick and easy traditional Ukrainian cucumber and tomato salad.”
      There is also a link to the salad there. XOXO -Monti

  3. These are like the potato pancakes my dad made. Never got his recipe. We grew up with them, and we would put butter and sugar on them. Memories. Thank you so very much.
    Any was of getting the full recipe
    My dad full German.

  4. Thank you for the classic recipe of Derunu! Reminds me how grandma would wake us up in the village in Ukraine, to have it for breakfast! Thank you for giving credit to this recipe. I know different countries have different versions, but this is exactly how we made it in Ukraine 🇺🇦 

  5. These potato pancakes take me back to my childhood. I will b making these this weekend.  Thanks for the recipe I didn’t know I was looking for!

  6. Please don’t attribute these to one country. Draniki is a national dish in Belarus. Belarusians are know in the region for their love of potato. The same dish is known as ladkas in the US due to Jewish immigration from that eastern european region. Even east Germany has a similar dish with a similar name (but with German rout).

    1. You are right, these resemble one variation of the logical thing to make everywhere in the European “potatoe belt”. Made from what folk had at hand.

      It’s a bit like fighting over who came up with pickled herring or who owns sausages. I think there are interesting varieties everywhere. What would European cuisine be without potatoes, eggs, onions?

  7. The water should be squeezed from the potatoes and onions before mixing with eggs and flour etc.

  8. I have loved them the first time mygranda made them as a a child the only thing she ever put in them was flour and egg turned out so yumm I still make them today I can’t get them cooked fast enough the only thing I put on mine is butter and apple butter omg I think I’ll have to make them now the belly is getting hungry