icon Bramborák

Bramborák is a Czech potato pancake made from thinly grated potatoes, eggs and flour, seasoned with garlic, marjoram and salt, and fried in lard. It is eaten warm, either by itself as a snack, as a main dish stuffed with various piquant combinations of fried meat, peppers and onions, or as a side dish with goulashes. In a broader sense, the Czech bramborák is related to Austrian and Swiss Rösti, French Galettes de pommes de terre, Spanish Tortilla de patatas, and even the American and English hash browns.

Czech bramboráčky.
Potato pancakes in general are commonly associated with Central and Eastern European cuisines: Austrian, Belarussian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Polish, Ukrainian and Yiddish. In Austria and Germany they are called Kartoffelpuffer, Erdäpfelpuffer, Reibekuchen,

German Kartoffelpuffer.
Reiberdatschi, Reibeplätzchen or Kartoffelpfannkuchen. In Czech, they are called bramborák, cmunda, kramflek, strouhanec, sejkory, báč, bramborka, křapáč, křápanec, naľešnik, prskanec, smrazky, stryk, škrample or vošouch.

Ukrainian Deruny with sourcream.
In Russian and Ukrainian they are called деруни (deruny) or драники (draniki). Only Yiddish seems to have one simple, universal name: latkes.

Jewish latke.
Typical Austrian, Czech or German potato pancakes have traditionally been fried in lard, although frying in vegetable oil does seem to extend one's life. Latkes are fried in olive oil to commemorate the miracle of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

German Kartoffelpuffer with apple sauce,
Hofbräu Beer Hall in Miami.
Most potato pancakes are salty. However, there are sweet varieties such as those made in the German Rheinland usually eaten with apple sauce, or in Poland (Placek ziemniaczany) where it is eaten coated with sugar or topped with cream.

Czech bramborák is eaten either byt itself as a snack, or stuffer with various fried savory mixes of meat, peppers and onions. Or, small ones can be served as a side dish with goulashes, in which case they are called bramboráčky.


Krakonošův bramborák at Šaldův statek in Jilemnice (bramborák stuffed with pan-fried pork and vegetables).

Bramborák stuffed with cheese.

Bramborák stuffed with fried chicken liver.

Bramborák stuffed with red kraut.

Bramboráčky as a side dish to Brno-style goulash topped with horseradish.

Bramboráčky and bread dumplings as a side dish to Pilsner goulash topped with fried egg.


Czech-style bramborák:
  • 1 1/2 lbs potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Lard or vegetable oil for frying
  • Marjoram, salt, pepper


  1. Wash, peel and grate potatoes. Squeeze as much liquid out of them as possible.
  2. Chop the garlic and mix together with the potatoes. Add milk, eggs and flour and season with salt, pepper and marjoram. The goal is to have a batter of the right consistency, which is not too thick but not watery either.
  3. Heat lard and oil in a large frying pan. Ladle pancake batter into the pan and fry on one side until moderately golden-brown. Turn and fry the other side until moderately golden-brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm on a covered platter until ready to serve.
  4. YIELD: serves 4.
  • Sauerkraut and smoked bacon can be added to the mixture (Kaplická cmunda).
  • The mixture can be used as batter for a pork schnitzel (Vilíkovy Tlapky from Dejvická Sokolovna in Prague).
  • Apple sauce or apple compote can be used as garnish (Kartoffelpuffer in Germany).
  • Grated zucchini can be subsituted for part of the potatoes, rosemary and nutmeg added to the seasonings (Kartoffel-Zucchini Puffer in Austria, or Cukeťák in Czech).

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Last updated: October 12, 2010

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