Cuttlefish stew – Brudet od sipa

After my photographic distractions (which I very much enjoy, and I hope you like them, too), I’m continuing with my Croatian posts.


Brudet is a fish stew of humble origins. Fishermen used to prepare it to use up left over catch that they didn’t manage to sell. So whatever didn’t go at the market, ended up in the pot.

One of my favourite brudets is my mum’s dark and rich, unctuous sauce you can see above. It’s made with cuttlefish, and served with warm polenta.


Cuttlefish Brudet



SOURCE: My mum’s recipe


COOKING TIME: 40 – 60 min

CUISINE: Croatian (Dalmatian)

SERVES: 6 – 8




Vegetable/olive oil

6 medium yellow onions, chopped finely

2 large carrot, grated

1.5 kg cuttlefish, cut into pieces


1/2 medium head of garlic, cloves chopped finely

a small handful of parsley, chopped finely

a bit of chopped celery leaf

1/2 tbsp tomato pure

2 dl white wine

5 – 6 bay leaves

salt, pepper



1. Fry the onions for a little in some vegetable or olive oil. Add grated carrots. Fry the carrot and onion mixture, stirring occasionally, until it becomes soft, and the onions become slightly browned. Be patient, as this can take a while. Please don’t be tempted to do this quickly, this is important, and it will form the base of the stew, in which the onion acts as a thickening agent.

2. Now add the cuttlefish, and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cuttlefish is cooked, and the onions start melting into the sauce.  Add water if it starts sticking.

3.   Add the garlic and the herbs, some salt and pepper, and keep stirring.

4. When the onion is softened, and starts disintegrating into the sauce (or a little before that if you’re in a hurry), add a little more water,and when the water evaporates, and some more to form a thick sauce. The herb and the garlic will still taste a little raw. Continue cooking until the flavours deepen and mellow together. The cuttlefish will become soft, too.

5. Towards the end of cooking, add the white wine and the bay leaf, adjust the seasoning, and cook  for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Serve warm with polenta. Also good with crusty bread!

My dad likes a drizzle of olive oil over his brudet. Give it a go if you fancy it.


Note: Squid also works in this recipe.

ps. Also try some warm polenta with yoghurt! I love it!


I’m submitting this to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging event, hosted by Anna of Anna’s Cool Finds. This event, originally started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, is organised by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything.

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  1. Oh this looks so richly delicious! I learned to enjoy cuttlefish when I lived in Japan as a student. Thanks for participating in Weekend Herb Blogging.


  2. Looks delicious and the color makes we want to give it a try. I have several of your mom’s recipes bookmarked, this might jump to the top of the list.


  3. aaaajmeeee lipoteeee!!!:)))))


  4. Wow, that looks good. I had my first experience of cuttlefish about a week ago – and it was delicious. It can only be improved with the addition of warm soft polenta. This may sound dumb, but can you post a polenta recipe as well? It’s not something I have cooked a lot of before.


  5. my husband would love this! where we live, there is no good fresh fish, but when we go to Dalmacija, we eat seafood all the time, to last us for the whole year “:D
    your pictures are very beautiful, i love the flower macros very much 🙂


  6. This fish stew looks amazing and so flavorful. Beautiful photos! Great recipe.


  7. ANNA, thanks, and welcome to my blog!
    Do you have some Japanese cuttlefish recipes? I’d be interested to see/try them.

    INDOSUNGOD, thanks. 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

    SNJEZANA, :))) Fala!

    GRUBWORM, it’s not a dumb question at all. The reason I didn’t write it is because it depends on the polenta you’re using, quick-cook or not, size of the grain, etc. It’s best just to follow the instructions on whichever packet you get.

    ANNE, same here. I also have loads of fish when I go home.
    Glad you like the macros! (Though they’re not taken with a macro lense, cos I don’t have one.)

    AZITA, thanks!


  8. Hey there. What a warm, rich stew! And I’ve really enjoyed your photographic detours. Hope you are well!


  9. Mislim jel moram naglašavat da ovo obožavam. 🙂 🙂
    Predivno izgleda ovaj brudet i uopće ne sumnjam u njegov okus.


  10. Izgleda da se sipa polako vraća i u restorane a ne samo u obliku crnog rižota. tako samo jučer jeli odličnu tradicionalnu salatu od sipe sa ćićvardom a ovu zimu odličnu salatu od sipe s jagodama. Mada je meni još u ustima onaj okus tek ulovljene male sipe s gradela. Nema ništa slađe!


  11. Oh YUM! I am drooling just looking at that. I do a brudet as well ( but I’ve never seen one done with sipe. I will definitely have to try that next time.



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