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Croatian Brodet Recipe (Croatian Fish Stew)
When I hear the word Brodet, my mouth starts to water. I absolutely love this classic Dalmatian dish, and you will too! Brodet is a seafood stew and an essential part of Croatian coastal food culture, just like all seafood – hello Octopus Salad and Shrimp Risotto.
With Brodet, it’s crucial you select the correct type of fish to get the best flavor out of the stew. The trick is to use a minimum of three kinds of fish and shellfish, and I also like to throw in a few crustaceans.
What is the reason for three fish, I hear you ask? Having several varieties of fish is what gives the stew its incredible depth of flavor!
The types of fish to go for are reef species; in Dalmatia, the number 1 fish for this is the Scorpion Fish; it definitely makes the best Brodet. Also, go for ocean perch or conger eel, but most reef fish species will do. Make sure you don’t pick something with delicate flesh as it will fall apart when cooking.
I usually throw in a handful of mussels and, when available, those tasty little scampi. The scampi makes the Brodet amazing – and when cooked, don’t forget to suck the head! In Dalmatia, this dish is served with Polenta which I recommend, as it’s perfect for sucking up all that beautiful brodet sauce.
Croatian Brodet Recipe (Fish Stew)
Here is an easy-to-make Croatian brodet recipe. I always loved my mums, and now I show you how I make my own.
- 1.5 kg fish. We always enjoy scorpion fish, ccean perch, conger eel, reef and rockfish species the best (3lbs 5oz). Just take what you can get that is fresh from your fishmonger
- 50 ml extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
- 4 tablespoons white vinegar (more if you like)
- Six garlic cloves, sliced
- ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 3 large onions, finely chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes (more if you like)
- Salt & pepper
- 600 ml water to cover fish (2 1/2 cups)
- 12 mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 6 scampi
- Get yourself a large heavy-based saucepan, heat the oil and fry the garlic and onion on a low to medium heat for a couple of minutes
- Add the tomatoes and a little water and cook for around 10 minutes
- Season the fish with salt and then add it to the saucepan and mix the fish with the garlic, onion and tomatoes
- Add water so that it covers the fish
- Pour in the vinegar and pepper and simmer. You want the stew just simmering
- Allow the fish to cook for 20 minutes giving the saucepan the occasional shake. DO NOT stir as you will break the fish
- Check the seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if required
- It's now time to put your scampi into the saucepan - throw them in one-by-one
- After five mins, check on the progress of your fish. It should be close to being done - however, this will vary depending on the type and size of the fish. Leave the fish for as long as it needs to be cooked through
- Approx five minutes before this fish is cooked, toss in your mussels and parsley
- Serve the brodet with creamy polenta and garnish with some parsley
Serve up with crusty fresh bread a Croatian white wine to finish it off!
Main photo & Pinterest photo credit: Stijn Nieuwendijk
Made an amazing version of this using local Australian ingredients. Stock and meaty bits, reserved, from Snapper & Salmon heads, cheap to buy from your local fishmonger, leftover frozen stock (can’t remember what it was from?), prawn heads added to the stock along with the juices from thawed green lipped mussels, mussels meat reserved. Removed solids from stock and added red lentils till cooked. Returned meat from heads, added mussel meat and black bream fillets along with prawn meat, and garlic, flat-leaf parsley and seasoning, salt and pepper and chilli. Didn’t use vinegar, but that may have given the dish an added dimension? Absolutely amazing served with EVO pan-fried croutons (bread crusts cut into 2.5cm pieces and flavoured with garlic and salt and pepper with a dash of chilli powder thrown in to spice things up a touch! Even better the next day!!!!
I like the look of your recipes, must try a few more!
Njam! Thanx for reminding me of a good life back home.
Enjoyed your FB already, and now even getting hungry from reading it
Anyway, if I may suggest:
Try dry white wine insted of vinegar,
Add rosemary and thyme together with parsley,
And briefly bake or grill the polenta before serving..
Živjeli i dobar tek!
Ohh I like the idea of the rosemary and thyme together!! Thanks and takoder
Up there with spanish paella…although, being adam is lican, dont know how much use he will be 😉
Valentina Čorak my mum makes this all the time!! ‘Brudet’!! I’ll get her recipe.
Everyone in her family makes this, am i right Akneven Zuvelek?? lol
with polenta!! yum
Yes, always with polenta, the best!
The best thing! Yumm!
You are making me look forward to Croatia more and more
Yummy … resembles the “skampi na buzaru” I love in Korcula and other eateries in and along the Adriatic…..Hvala ….. Zivili !!!
Now that just looks Yummy!
So amazing I learned to make the Italian version of this in an Adriatic village on the coast last year!
So glad we didn’t eat this….I know I know….I’m sure it’s amazing….I just hate eating fish!!! I love them in the water!…
Each to their own 😀
Yes exactly. No disrespect was intended:)
none taken 😀
My moms absolute favorite! She never has the recipe. She says “a little of this… Little of that…” So I’m glad to see it on “paper”. Must try!
Ohh yes, we have so many ‘recipes’ like this too 😀 Dobar tek