In the Czech kitchen: Smaženka is a quick retro recipe you'll love

A staple of milk bars in socialist Czechoslovakia, learn how to make this egg-coated fried sourdrough bread, topped with zingy onions and pickles, at home.


Written by Ambiente Published on 27.04.2024 17:00:00 (updated on 10.05.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

For Czechs smaženka is a word that brings on nostalgia for memories of visits to grandma's house. Bread coated in beaten eggs and fried is a retro delight that lends itself well to modern interpretations. It makes for an easy and delicious light dinner or quick snack using a few basic ingredients you're likely to have on hand.

Foods like smaženka were commonly found on the menu at milk bars, fast food establishments that dominated Czechoslovak cities during socialist times. In these eateries you could enjoy humble fried treats, sandwiches, and salads along with milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, and desserts.

These days you're best bet for trying this eggy treat is a lahůdky (deli), but there's nothing stopping you from making it at home. Use quality ingredients and you'll be pleasantly surprised by what ends up on the plate. "The key to a good smaženka is using quality bread," chef Martin Štangl told us. "We use Eska bread 33 (a crispy sourdough)." Here are chef Štangl's recipe tips.

Classic Czech smaženka


  • Bread (roughly 4 slices from a Šumava-style loaf)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Full-fat mustard, to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pickles and red onion to serve.


  • 1.Prepare a bowl and whisk the eggs in it. Then add salt and pepper.
  • 2.Dip the bread slices into the egg mixture on both sides.
  • 3.Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the egg-coated bread slices on both sides.
  • 4.Once fried, brush the bread slices with mustard, sprinkle with finely chopped onion, and add sliced pickles.

Eska's smaženka


  • 4 slices of Bread 33 (crusty sourdough)
  • 250 g of seasonal vegetables
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil + 200 ml for frying
  • 100 g butter
  • 200 g Prague ham slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g onions
  • 100 g pickled cucumbers
  • 1 handful of fresh chives
  • 100 g full-fat mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1.Cut the bread into slices about 1½ cm thick. Cut the vegetables into equal sized pieces. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the vegetables so that they turn golden but remain crisp. Season with salt and pepper, stir and set aside.
  • 2.In another pan, heat the butter. Put the Prague ham in it and heat it over a low heat. Note: The ham slices must not be browned too hot, as they will dry out!
  • 3.In a third pan, with higher sides, heat the oil. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl or deep plate and beat them with a fork. Coat a slice of bread in them, season with salt and fry in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides.
  • 4.Carefully remove the fried bread and place it on a layer of paper towels to draw out the excess oil. Do the same with the other slices.
  • 5.Dice the onions and pickles, and finely chop the chives. Pepper the fried bread, spread with mustard, sprinkle with onions and pickles. On the plate, surround one half of the bread with the roasted vegetables and the other with the warm ham. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

In the Czech Kitchen is a weekly column written in cooperation with Ambiente's culinary experts. Established in 1995, the Prague-based collective of pubs, restaurants, and fine-dining outlets has transformed the Czech culinary landscape and led to widespread awareness of quality food service and production in Czechia. Follow their socials or book your table at

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