Smažený sýr, also called "smažák," is very popular in the Czech Republic. It’s a classic found on the menu in nearly every restaurant. Czech fried cheese is easily made at home.
➜ What Is Czech Fried Cheese?
Czech fried cheese, known as Smazeny syr, is a slice of semi-hard cheese, about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. The slice is coated with flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs, then pan-fried in a thick layer of fat.
Think of fried cheese as a main course, and either French fries or various types of potatoes (boiled, mashed, crushed, parsley potatoes) are served as a side dish.
The traditional condiment served with fried cheese is „tatarská omáčka“, a Czech tartar sauce.
According to IPA, smažený sýr is pronounced as [ˈsmaʒɛniː ˈsiːr].
Here is a short audio clip on how to pronounce "smažák" and "smažený sýr":
➜ Which Cheese Is Best for Frying?
In terms of taste and melting point, the most common choice of Czechs is Eidam (Edam) or Gouda with a fat content of up to 30 %. These are semi-hard types of Dutch cheese.
The following types of cheese are also very well suited for coating and frying: Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Swiss Gruyère.
How To Make Czech Fried Cheese
- Prepare three bowls, put the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in each bowl.
- Coat a slice of cheese first in a bowl with flour, then with eggs and finally with breadcrumbs.
- For a perfect result, repeat steps 3 and 4.
- Fry the coated cheese slices on both sides in the fat until golden brown.
✅ You’ll find the exact amount of ingredients below in the recipe card, which you can also print out.
TIP: Dip the cheese in cold water before coating if you want the flour to stick to the cheese better.
➜ The Cheese leak out. What now?
If you don‘t want the cheese to ooze out during frying, coat it twice in the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs – the crust will be thicker then.
I didn´t double the coating, you can see the sides of the ‘smažák’ have leaked out a bit – but it doesn´t affect the taste of smažený sýr at all!
➜ Useful Tips
- You don’t need to go to a restaurant to enjoy fried cheese, it’s often served as a street food – "smažený sýr v housce" (fried cheese in a bun).
- Tartar sauce is the typical dipping sauce served with smažený sýr. Make it beforehand so that it’s all ready when the cheese is finished.
- Slovaks, our south-eastern neighbors, know smažený sýr as „vyprážaný syr“.
Best Sides for Fried Cheese
- Crushed potatoes – šťouchané brambory as a side dish
- Tartar sauce – tatarská omáčka or tatarka as a condiment
- Parsley potatoes – easy done in no time!
Smažený sýr - Czech Breaded Fried Cheese
- 4 slices hard cheese ⅓-1/2-inch thick Gouda, Edam, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Swiss Gruyère
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (43 g)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (120 g)
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- pinch of salt
- oil for frying
- Heat a thick layer of fat in a pan.
- Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, and add a pinch of salt.
- Get the slices of cheese ready. Firstly, coat the slice of cheese in the flour, then in the beaten eggs, and lastly in the breadcrumbs.
- Turn the pan temperature to medium and fry the coated cheese on both sides, each about 3-4 minutes until it turns golden brown.
- Serve the cheese immediately with a potato side dish and the tartar sauce as the condiment.
- Makes 4 portions.
- If you are based in the US, the best cheese for frying is Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Swiss Gruyère
- The combination of hot cheese in a crispy crust and tartar sauce stands out the best when served as soon as possible after frying. The longer you let the cheese cool down, the chewier it becomes (no worries, it will still taste great).
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