Updated: Apr 7, 2021
When in Croatia, you shouldn’t hesitate on ordering fish and shellfish in a restaurant. Being one of the clearest waters in the world, the Adriatic Sea is home to species that would intimidate those with the finest palates.
The Croatian coast is bathing in the Mediterranean basin but tucked away from any type of pollution potentially threatening from the West.
When having #oysters in Croatia, you can really taste the crystal seawater and there will be no doubt about their freshness. Mussels, Clams, Scallops, you name it: Often shortly seared with garlic, parsley, a squirt of home-made tomato sauce and the inevitable local olive oil.
Why spoiling the exquisite condensed taste with adding more ingredients? The simpler, the better. This Croatian culinary rule applies to fish and other seafood as well.
Best places to get shellfish:
Peljesac peninsula for oysters
Sibenik area where the purest rivers flow into the sea
Octopus and squid
Not to be skipped, squid which is mostly referred to as Calamari in Croatia, can be prepared in different and equally delicious ways. Try them grilled, stuffed or crispy. Have a squid-ink risotto or start your meal with a summery octopus salad.
My mother's octopus salad recipe:
1kg of fresh octopus
chopped dill and parsley
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of EVOO
1 1/2 cup of squeezed lemon juice
freshly grounded black pepper
Chop the previously cleaned tender octopus, place it in a pan a let it cook for 45 minutes on low heat. Remove occasionally the foam that is forming on top. Let it cool after cooking and gently remove the skin using a cloth. Chop into smaller pieces and mix in the minced garlic, parsley and dill. Add olive oil, lemon juice and dash of black pepper. To add more taste, you can stir in other ingredients like olives, potatoes and tomatoes.
Adriatic lobster and shrimp - Crustaceans to die for
Skampi is a delicacy that we are extremely proud of. They belong to species found only in the northern Sea of Europe and the Mediterranean.
#Busara: This holy grail of seafood preparation in Croatia can be enjoyed the most with skampi. Lobster on the other hand is a real treat and will taste like no lobster you had before. If you have the chance, try one of the highly appreciated crabmeat recipes.
Where to get skampi?
You can find them in most parts of Dalmatia, although the most treasured ones come from the Northern Adriatic - the Kvarner bay.
Her majesty, the fish
Fish in Croatia is mostly enjoyed grilled, in order to preserve all the freshness and subtle taste of their meat. You will never go wrong with Orada, Brancin, Zubatac, Tuna,...actually, the list goes on and on. Most restaurants will prepare whatever their catch of the day is - and your taste buds will be thankful no matter what fish scenario ends up on your plate.