Irish Boxty Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche

March 2024 View more

By Kelli Ra Anderson

Irish Boxty Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche

With Irish origins from the 1700s, boxty is a golden-crisp potato pancake whose name is likely from the Gaelic arán bockt tí, meaning “poorhouse bread.” But there’s nothing poor about this flavorful traditional Irish dish, which can be served as breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. It’s ideal for using up leftover mashed potatoes, or take a shortcut and use frozen grated hash browns in a pinch.

Enjoy it plain or add savory ingredients like cheese or onion—or top it with treats (try sautéed mushrooms, smoked salmon, stewed beef with onion gravy, and even corned beef and cabbage).

Ith do shàth!

MAKES 4 servings

Grated potato


2 large russet potatoes of equal size
1½ cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ pound salted Irish butter
½ pound smoked salmon
1 cup crème fraîche
Zest of 1 lemon
Fresh herbs (dill, thyme, or chives)
(Optional: ¼ cup grated Irish Dubliner cheese and sliced green onion)



1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (to keep batches warm after frying).

2. Mix the crème fraîche with lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

3. Peel and dice one potato. Boil in salted water for 20 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Drain, mash the potato until fluffy, and set aside.

Wringing out the liquid

4. Peel and grate one potato. In a clean cotton towel, lay out the grated potato and wring out as much liquid as possible.

5. In a large mixing bowl, add the grated and mashed potatoes, flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cheese, pepper, salt, and buttermilk. Stir to combine until the consistency of a poured pancake batter, adding more buttermilk if needed. (Stir in cheese or other additions as desired.)

6. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

Frying the batter

7. In a nonstick pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop ¼ cup batter onto the pan and sizzle for 2 minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Remove cake and place on a sheet pan in the warmed oven. Continue to fry cakes until all the batter is used.

8. To serve, top each boxty with smoked salmon and a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprig of fresh herb. (Pairs wonderfully with a side of seared asparagus.)

PRO TIP:According to head chef Pádraic Óg Gallagher of the Gallagher’s Boxty House in Dublin, boxtys are best when the batter is refrigerated overnight and fried into cakes the next day.


Photos: Kellira Media