Fried carp with potato salad
While mushroom kuba is by many people looked down on, fried carp with potato salad is served as Christmas menu in the majority of Czech families. After all, it has been the most common Christmas tradition, besides Christmas tree decoration – though both of them rather recent, originating from mid-19th century.
Fried carp and potato salad is recommended as fasting meal already in a well-know cookery book Domácí kuchařka by Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová, published for the first time in 1826 (with many later editions, the latest one dating from 2004). However, besides carp and salad, it offers five menus consisting of eight to fourteen courses including crayfish, eel, pike, shell, frog or snails. And what did her potato salad recipe look like? Apart from potatoes, onion, egg, vinegar and oil, used in its modern version as well, it included “various leftovers from any meals”, such as cold roast veal, ham, smoked tongue, poultry, salted herring, anchovy, bean or cauliflower and, last but not least, first-class olive oil. But don’t worry, ingredients for our recipe are not so hard to be found...

Preferably the day before, boil potatoes in skin for about 15‑20 minutes, depending on their size, check with a knife whether they are soft. Let them cool down, peel and cut into cubes about 1 × 1 cm.
Peel carrot and celery root and cook them in salted water 10‑15 minutes until tender but not overcooked. Take them out of water, let cool down and cut in small pieces. Prepare hard-boiled eggs, peel and cut in pieces. Defrost green peas (or rinse the sterilized one and drain).
Cut ham and pickles in small cubes (leaving the brine for seasoning). Mix all ingredients carefully in a bowl, add mayonnaise and some pickle brine with mixed salt and pepper.
Salt the carp fillets and dip them in flour, then in egg and milk mixture and finally in breadcrumbs. Fry on all sides in hot oil until golden brown. Add lemon for each serving.
Extra tip:
There are so many potato salad recipes as is the number of Czech households. Some add corn, some blanch onion or mustard. Which recipe is the “one and only”? Definitely the one you like the most!

4 carp fillets a 150 g
all purpose flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
bread crumbs
fat for frying
Ingredients for potato salad:
1 kg potatoes for salad (A-type)
4 carrots
1/4 kg celery root
4 eggs
jar of sterilized green peas or 200 g frozen peas
200 g ham
150 g pickles (gherkins)
150–200 g mayonnaise
salt and pepper