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Hvarska Gregada (Fish Stew)

Primosten in Croatia

Hvarska Gregada or Fish Stew

Here’s a recipe from our final dinner in Hvar, Croatia on our Bicycling the Islands of the Dalmatian Coast tour. It’s a traditional Dalmatian fish stew most commonly found on the island of Hvar (other Croatian islands have a similar stew but they use tomatoes and call it “brujet” instead of “gregada”). The key is to use the freshest fish you can find at the market and just about anything works including sea bass, shrimp, shark, mullet, and scorpion fish.  A piece of eel will add a special taste to it and make the sauce a bit thicker.

Ingredients for 5-6 people:
2 pounds of potatoes, sliced in rounds
2 pounds of fish, cut in 2-5 inch chunks
4 medium-large onions, sliced in rounds
3-4 cloves of garlic, to taste
1to 1 ½ cups of olive oil (don’t be shy, it’s Mediterranean cuisine!)
2-3 tablespoons parsley (to taste)
1-2 tablespoons salt and pepper (to taste)
½ tablespoon of vinegar

Place fish, potatoes, onions and garlic in a Dutch oven. Pour olive oil on top, and sprinkle parsley and salt and pepper. Then, cover all the ingredients with water and add the vinegar (vinegar helps keep the fish meat together). Bring to a boil and then let simmer until the potatoes become soft. Cut the heat and let the stew stand for an hour or so before serving (this lets the flavors mix even after it has finished cooking). Serve with a spoon, with more fresh parsley sprinkled on top as garnish. Important: don’t stir with a ladle, if you want to “stir” the stew, shake the whole pot, but don’t stir or you’ll break up the fish and potato pieces!

Dobar Tek!

Hvarska Gregada or Fish Stew from Hvar Croatia