We don’t know a Czech who wouldn’t like bramboráky. And no one can eat just one! Bramboráky, in English potato pancakes, are widespread in the Czech Republic.
There is a different name for bramboráky in almost every Czech region, for instance, křapáče, vošouchy, kramfleky or cmunda.
What are Czech Bramboráky?
Bramboráky are Czech shredded potato pancakes. They are prepared from raw shredded / grated potatoes, with a lot of garlic, marjoram, eggs, flour and hot milk added.
Bramborák batter is then fried in a pan in pork lard.
I recorded a short audio clip on pronouncing the Czech word bramborák. The first word in the audio is "bramborák," the second is "bramboráky," which means plural (2 and more bramborák).
- Grate raw potatoes.
- Strain the excess liquid.
- Pour grated potatoes with hot milk.
- Add flour, egg, salt, caraway seeds, plenty of minced garlic and majroram. Mix together.
- Fry bramboráky in lard.
What Should a Good Bramborák Look Like?
A typical bramborák is about 6 inch wide, with a fuzzy and crispy crust.
It has a distinct taste of garlic and marjoram. A properly fried brabmorák is golden in color, not too brown, except for the crispy edges.
Fresh bramboráky are crispy, not chewy. As they cool down, they lose their crispiness, but they still taste good.
Bramborák is usually eaten as a main meal, like as a quick dinner for instance.
We love bramboráky with Lučina (typical Czech cottage cheese) in our family. You can also add some vegetables and sprinkle the surface with some herbs, most commonly a sprig of parsley.
In Czech restaurants, smaller potato patties are made instead of the large bramborák. They are called bramboráčky and are served as a side dish with a meat meal.
You can also find a dish called cmunda, it is a South Bohemian version of the bramborák, served with cabbage and smoked meat.
Another common variant of bramborák’s preparation is baking them in the oven.
Spread the potato batter onto a baking tray and place it into the oven. You can also add cabbage or zucchini to make the bramborák lighter.
TIP: After frying bramboráky, put them on paper towels to drain off the excess fat.
This is a basic traditional recipe for Czech bramboráky. Once you manage to make it, feel free to modify the potato batter to your liking.
The most usual thing to add to the mixture would be smoked meat cut into cubes, mushrooms, or replacing a part of the mixture with grated cabbage or zucchini.
Authentic Czech Bramborák Recipe
- 2 lbs (900 g) potatoes (raw, peeled)
- ⅔ cup (90 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- ½ cup (120 ml) milk (hot)
- 5 cloves of garlic (freshly pressed)
- 1 Tbsp marjoram (dried)
- 1 tsp caraway seeds (crushed)
- 1 tsp salt
- pork lard (for frying)
- Peel the potatoes and finely grate them.
- Leave it to stand for a moment and pour the water out of the mixture.
- Meanwhile, heat the milk until it gets hot.
- Peel and press the garlic.
- Pour the hot milk over the grated potatoes and mix.
- Add garlic, flour, eggs, marjoram, caraway seeds, and salt. Stir well to combine. You will get semi-liquid batter.
- Melt the lard in a pan on medium heat.
- Place the mixture in the middle of the hot pan. Use a spatula or the flat side of a spoon to flatten. Spread the mixture to make a bramborák about 6 inches (15 cm) wide. Bramborák should be cca ¼ inch thick.
- Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown.
- Flip the bramborák carefully and fry the other side until golden.
- Serve as quickly as possible while still crispy and taste the best.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart
These Czechs Dishes Are Also Delicious:
- Czech fried cheese - smažený sýr
- Smažený řízek - Czech Breaded Pork Schnitzel
- Vepřové výpečky - Czech Style Roasted Pork Belly
The potatoes are sold under A, B, and C labels in the Czech Republic. The labels indicate starch percentage in the potatoes.
C label potatoes contain the most starch and can be used for starchy foods like potato pancakes or another favorite Czech meal škubánky.