Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, brudet is an oft-overlooked yet tantalizingly delicious Croatian stew. Bursting with robust and eclectic flavors, it's a deeply satisfying dish that truly satisfies one's cravings for something sublime.


At its core, brudet is a simple combination of fish, vegetables, and seasonings, but it is the combination of these ingredients that results in a complex blend of tastes and aromas. The fish used in the stew can range from an array of varieties, including cod, hake, monkfish, and even octopus. Traditionally, vegetables such as onion, fennel, garlic, celery, and carrots are added to the mix, infusing the stew with a unique flavor. To fully achieve its unique taste, the stew must be simmered for a long period of time, allowing all of the components to meld together.

An integral part of brudet is the selection of herbs and spices that offer an elevation to the overall flavor of the stew. Paprika is a requisite ingredient, lending its smoky flavor to the dish. Other classic additions include bay leaves, parsley, dill, basil, white wine, and tomato paste. A pinch of sugar helps to round out the different elements and creates a balance between the savory and sweet.

The true beauty of brudet is the versatility it offers. Not only can it be made with a range of different ingredients and seasonings, but it can also be served in a variety of ways. For a heartier meal, serve brudet alongside crusty bread or boiled potatoes. For a more elegant affair, serve it over a bed of rice or even place it atop a pizza. The versatility of this stew makes it a popular choice for both casual and sophisticated dining alike.

Though its ingredients and preparation may appear mundane on the surface, there is something truly special about brudet. Through its hearty combination of flavors, it truly brings something unique to the table. There is an undeniable charm of this traditional stew, and those who take the time to appreciate its nuances will be richly rewarded.

Brudet recipes

Amazing Brudet recipes sourced from the web.

The origin of Brudet

When it comes to the origins of the beloved Croatian dish Brudet, there is perhaps no definite answer, as its true origin remains shrouded in mystery and debate. Some claim it has Venetian ancestry, others say it hails from Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, whilst still others point to its Mongolian resemblance as evidence of a far-reaching heritage.

What is certain is that Brudet is a quintessentially Croatian dish, and has been eaten in the region for centuries. The name itself may come from the Italian brul├Ęt (burnt) or the Latin brunitio (burned), evidence perhaps of its forebears. The traditional recipe calls for fish (usually redfish or saltwater mullet) and other seafood such as shrimps, cuttlefish, and crab, cooked in a thick tomato sauce with onions, garlic, herbs and spices such as paprika and bay leaves, and served with polenta or potatoes.

Though the ingredients used in Brudet may indicate various influences, the origins of the technique and flavors are rooted firmly in Croatia's seafaring culture. Cooking seafood in a tomato-based sauce was a common practice for many of Croatia's coastal inhabitants, who combined the ingredients to create a unique flavor profile. The technique of slow-cooking the fish to tender perfection has also been around for centuries.

Many variations of the dish have been created over time, ranging from simple family recipes to elaborate regional specialties. Regional differences can be seen in the types of fish used, the methods of cooking, and the additional ingredients added, such as mollusks, vegetables, and white wine.

It is this unique combination of ingredients and techniques that makes Brudet so appealing and so cherished by Croatians. It's a symphony of different elements, each one playing its own part in creating the perfect harmony of savory flavors and textures.

No matter its origin, Brudet is a beloved Croatian dish and a testament to the generations of cooks who have kept the tradition alive. So why not try it yourself and discover what all the fuss is about?

FAQs about Brudet

Is Croatia known for seafood?

Yes, Croatia is known for its abundance of seafood. Seafood dishes are a common part of Croatian cuisine and the country's coastlines offer a variety of delicious seafood, such as squid, mackerel, sardines, oysters, mussels, shrimp, scallops and crabs.

What kind of fish do they eat in Croatia?

In Croatia, people commonly eat a variety of freshwater fish such as carp, pike, zander, trout, and eel. They also enjoy saltwater fish, such as bass, cod, tuna, mackerel, anchovy, and sardines.

Types of Brudet

What is Brudet? Brudet is an old Slavic fish stew with a variety of regional variations and ingredients. It is an iconic dish associated with the Adriatic coast, often served as part of ritual feasts or for special occasions. Traditionally, brudet is slow cooked in a clay pot and served with bread, or sometimes with polenta or mashed potatoes.

Though Brudet is traditionally made with seafood such as squid, cuttlefish, mussels, shrimp and various kinds of white fish, there are many regional variations. In some areas, the dish is augmented with additional ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, bay leaves and olives. The addition of these ingredients gives the brudet a more complex and multilayered flavor.

The Mediterranean-style brudet is often cooked with tomato puree and high quality olive oil, giving it a sweet, tangy and savory flavor. In contrast, the Dalmatian type of brudet is cooked in a thick, rich sauce made with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic and red pepper. This version has a stronger, more intense flavor.

In some places, brudet is served with small pieces of pork or beef to give it a slightly heartier flavor. The Istrian version is cooked with white wine and vegetables, producing a subtle and delicate flavor. Croatian brudet is made with white fish and vegetables, while Montenegrin brudet is heavily spiced with the addition of paprika, red chili peppers and garlic.

Brudet is a traditional Slavic dish with a long and varied history, and it continues to be enjoyed throughout the region in its many unique variations. Its simple yet delicious flavor is sure to bring a smile to the faces of guests at any gathering. Whether it's the robust Mediterranean-style brudet or the tangy Dalmatian variation, one thing is for sure, this humble stew has all the makings of a real crowd pleaser.