How to Make a Classic Czech Potato Salad for Christmas

How to Make a Classic Czech Potato Salad for Christmas

Every Czech family has its own tradition when it comes to Christmas potato salad. Shredded apple or ribbons of ham and salami are popular add-ins; sweet pickled peppers or a dollop of tartar sauce also give this common sidedish a festive kick. No matter how you make it, no holiday carp feast is complete without the bramborový salát.

Czech food blogger Mona Jaoua has shared her family’s favorite potato salad recipe and it’s basic enough to allow for endless variations (it’s also vegetarian-friendly). Recipes for additional Czech holiday eats—including fish soup—can be found on Mona’s blog.

Classic Czech Potato Salad à la Mona

  • 1.5kg potatoes
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 400g can of peas
  • 6 large gherkins, drained and chopped (reserve a little of the juice)
  • 1 jar mixed pickled vegetables (carrots, parsnip root, celeriac, onion)
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 750g mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • Salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste

In a large pot of salted water, boil the potatoes in their skins. Drain and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, hard boil the eggs. Peel and cut into cubes.

In a large mixing bowl add the peas, chopped gherkins, and mixed pickled vegetables. Coarsely grate the onion into the bowl allowing some of the juices to flavor the salad.

Close up of diced pickled vegetables

In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and mustard.

Add the cooled, peeled, and diced potatoes and cubed eggs to the vegetables. Using your hands, gently stir ingredients to combine. Add the dressing, mixing just enough to coat the vegetables, not mash the potatoes!

Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. You can also add some of the reserved gherkin juice for extra tang.

Making carp, too? See this article from our archives for a carp recipe as well as the story behind why Czechs eat carp at Christmas.

Elizabeth Haas

Elizabeth Haas is the editor of She has lived in Prague for 12 years working as a writer and editor of cookbooks and travel guides. Her work has appeared in both Czech and American publications.

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