Croatian / Serbian / Balkan

Brudet (Seafood Broth with Polenta)

Neda’s Story

This is a traditional seafood dish from my island home, as well as a favourite family treat. This seafood broth is typically enjoyed by my family on a Friday, when it is a Roman Catholic tradition to eat fish.


Serves: 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon Vegeta*
1/4 cup (60ml) white wine
1kg mixed fish fillets*, cut into small pieces, and shellfish (such as prawns, mussels, clams, calamari)
Chopped parsley, to garnish

2L water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups of polenta (not instant)
2 teaspoons Vegeta*


1) Place the olive oil, onion and garlic in a saucepan and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and Vegeta and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions and tomatoes soften. Add the white wine and seafood and a little water: 1/2 (125ml) to 1 cup (250ml) to bring the soup to a consistency of your liking. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

2) To make the polenta, place water and olive oil in a heavy saucepan (to stop the polenta from sticking) and bring to the boil. Slowly pour the polenta into the water. Keep stirring and turn the heat down to low. Add the Vegeta. Continue stirring for about half an hour on a very low heat. It should start to thicken.

3) When cooked, let polenta sit and cool for a few minutes. To serve, place spoonfuls of polenta in bowls, ladle seafood broth over the top and garnish with parsley.

*I use smoked cod for my seafood broth, but any boneless fish fillet is fine. Vegeta is a Croatian condiment, available from select delicatessens.

For more on Neda’s story and Croatian cuisine, see our feature story here