Bramboráky: Czech Potato Pancakes
“Bramboráky” (potato pancakes) are one of the treasured foods of Czech cuisine. Although similar starchy dishes are made all over the world, Czech recipes are unique for their garlicky and marjoram infused taste.
These Czech potato pancakes are usually made by shallow-frying ground or grated potatoes with flour and eggs. The dish became widespread from the moment potatoes first started to be grown in Europe and has since firmly cemented itself as a traditional Czech food, one that is prepared in almost every household. It is simple to make; all the ingredients needed are potatoes, garlic, marjoram, eggs, and flour. As for the cooking procedure, old-fashioned frying on a bare stove has today been supplanted by the less-messy technique of pan-frying.
Restaurants offer this Czech staple in a range of combinations, for instance with smoked meat and sauerkraut or as the so-called “executioner’s mix”, in which pork noodles are rolled into the pancake with a spicy sauce. Others include potato pancakes stuffed with Czech “ermine” soft cheese or the distinct Olomoucké tvarůžky (a rather smelly cheese traditionally made near Olomouc). As a testament to the popularity of “bramboráky” stands the fact that there exist at least 32 different regional names for the dish.
1. Grate potatoes and put them in a mixing bowl
2. Stir in 2 eggs (beaten with milk), 4 cloves of garlic minced with dried marjoram, salt, pepper
3. Add 4 tablespoons of flour, stir
4. Heat cooking oil on a frypan and scoop the mixture on to the pan
5. Fry until pancakes are golden brown on both sides
6. Before serving, drain pancakes of excess grease with a paper towel
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
500 grams of peeled potatoes
4 cloves of garlic
A bit of milk
100 grams of all-purpose flour
Marjoram, salt, pepper
1 cup of cooking oil
What is the typical Czech dish? Is it schnitzel, goulash, svíčková (marinated sirloin), or buchty (buns)? What are the defining traits of Czech culinary heritage?