Brudet is a fish stew from Croatia, similar to an Italian Brodetto or Greek Bourdeto. All three are based on the Venetian word brodeto (“broth”). The recipes for each dish are similar; in fact, if you ever find yourself traveling along the Adriatic coast and see a similarly-named dish on a restaurant menu, you can probably bet it’s going to be a delicious fish stew cooked in a tomato base.
While there is a lot of variation to this dish, I like the Croatian version because it is an easy and unassuming approach to making soup. Marinate some fish for a while, then throw everything together at the proper time; it’s a true one-pot dish. Traditionally this dish is made with a mixture of fishes, to include eel, rockling, or coral trout; since they’re hard to come by, I think any firm white fish should be okay. I used cod. Adding shrimp and mussels also gives the stew a more rich and satisfying flavor.
1 lb firm white fish filets (cod, trout, halibut, or any combination), cut into 2″ pieces
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
6 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon (1 tbsp)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
2 cups fish stock or water
salt and pepper to taste, about 1/2 tsp each
1 lb raw shrimp, shelled
1 lb mussels, washed and scrubbed
10 cherry tomatoes
While water can be used to make the soup, adding a couple cups of fish stock really takes it to another level. To make stock, sauté some onions, carrots, and celery in butter until softened, then add fish bones/heads, some peppercorns, and enough water to cover everything; simmer for 40 minutes, add a little white wine, then strain. Easy.
The fish takes some marinating, so let’s knock that out first. Combine 2 tbsp olive oil, 6 cloves minced garlic, lemon juice, and the chopped parsley, then rub it all over the fish pieces. Cover and put in the fridge; marinate for 2 hours.
Once the fish is done marinating, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet on medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the onion slices and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
Once the onions are softened, add the chopped tomatoes and sauté until they are softened and cooked down, another 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, white wine, and bay leaves and return to a simmer. Taste and add salt and pepper to you liking.
Add the fish and enough stock or water to cover the fish, about 2 cups; return to a simmer, and let it bubble for about a minute before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Add the shrimp, mussels, and cherry tomatoes; simmer until the fish is cooked through and the mussels open, about 5-6 minutes. Don’t stir the pot, but shake it back and forth if needed to redistribute everything. And whatever you do, don’t cover the pot; locals believe that covering the pot will dilute its taste.
Sprinkle on a little more parsley if you’re up for it, and serve. This dish is often served with polenta, but I think it’s just fine as it is.
38 thoughts on “Brudet (Croatian Seafood Stew)”
what a wonderful meal, thank you! I can almost smell it : )
This is a great meal! I’ve had it while visiting relatives in Croatia and it’s delicious, especially with fresh fish!
Looks delicious! Would love to try.
yum yum! A must try and that’s for sure! :)
Such a beautiful bowl! I adore seafood soup of any kind and this is an amazing variation! I just discovered you blog and I’m a fan. I’ll definitely be back. Thanks for a great post!
Looks amazing! I must try your recipe!
I’ll try this one! It looks geat! I can almost smell it!
This looks lovely, and like at least one other of your respondents, I can smell the aromas! I shall have to play with this one. Soon!
This looks insanely good can’t wait to try this!
I’m so excited to make this weekend with the fresh Halibut I got while in Alaska! :)
Awesome, let me know how it turns out!
Reblogged this on Hardcore Healthy.
Hey Russ! This dish looks amazing! I am moving to the former Yugoslavia area (most likely Slovenia) soon and I am so excited about the food in that region of the world. I think I will make this for the hubby for our anniversary next month! Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks Christine! Wow, enjoy your move, I’m super jealous! I speak a smattering of Slovene but haven’t had the opportunity to practice it.
Thanks for a great recipe…We Croatians loved it…Latino and Mario from Cleveland Ohio
Beyond delicious. This has to be one of my favourite dishes. It’s making me crave it now and it’s only breakfast time at the moment. Ahhh
Awesome, glad you like it!
This was awesome! I had to sub shallots for garlic due to the most ridiculous allergy ever and omit the nightshades, but it still tasted great. As with all seafood, I had to double the amount of mussels so my 7-year old could “get enough”. Winner!
Erin, awesome to hear!
I’m SO glad to read that your 7 year old liked this! I’m trolling looking for recipes I can try with my 8 year old. I also loved the “most ridiculous allergy ever”- I feel that way about some of mine.
It is so nice to see a recipe from my country on your blog! :) All the best to you and your family from Croatia!