Fish stew (for 4 persons)

Fish stew is a popular dish in the coastal Croatia. There are many regional and local variations of this recipe, depending what’s swimming in the nearby waters. Fish stew is so popular in the coastal Croatia that almost every house has its own recipe.

Fish Stew (Brudet) | My Croatian Food & Other Recipes
Fish Stew (Brudet) | My Croatian Food & Other Recipes

Just like the recipe, the recipe’s name also varies according to the region: brudet, brodet. The word originates from Italian word brodetto – a fish stew cooked along the Adriatic coast of Italy as well as the Adriatic coast of Croatia.

I will share here a fish stew recipe made in the region of the delta of Neretva river, in the south of Croatia. Local specialties of this region are frogs and eels. Fish stew is made either of frogs and eels, or frogs and white fish.

Fish Stew Recipe


  • 1/2 kg of onions
  • chili pepper
  • 1 soup spoon of tomato paste
  • water
  • 2 soup spoons of vinegar
  • salt
  • parsley
  • garlic
  • frogs (entire)
  • white fish (gilt-head, sea bass, …)
  • olive oil

Chop the onions into small cubes. Heat the olive oil in the pot. Add chopped onions and salt them a bit. Add your chili pepper(s).  The quantity of chili peppers depends on your taste – medium or very hot. Traditional fish stew is really hot.

Frying Onions On The Low Fire

Cook on the low fire, adding small amounts of water, until your onions turn yellow and they are almost disintegrated. Mix a glass of warm water with two soup spoons of vinegar. When your onions are well done, add this mixture into the pot. Add one soup spoon of tomato paste.

Adding Vinegar and Tomato Paste To Your Fish Stew
Adding Vinegar and Tomato Paste To Your Fish Stew

Cut your fish into the pieces. When everything starts boiling add your fish. Close the pot and cook on the low fire for another 10 minutes.

Adding fish to your fish stew
Adding Fish To Your Fish Stew

Add your frogs. Shake your pot left and right, so everything falls into the right place. You will need to add enough water to cover your fish and frogs. If you are using frozen frogs, they will release lots of water, so you will need to add less water yourself.

Adding frogs to your fish stew
Adding Frogs To Your Fish Stew

Keep simmering until your fish is ready. Check it with your finger. Fish should be firm when pressed. Taste. Add salt or chili pepper if needed. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and chopped garlic. Serve with polenta or boiled potatoes.

Fish Stew Neretva Style
Fish Stew Served With Polenta

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