Simple, delicious and fresh from the Adriatic — you have to try it!
Fish grill is a staple in the world of Croatian seafood recipes. Here, Adriatic fish is sourced daily, so you can count on its high quality and fresh taste.
The most popular fish for grilling are sea bass and gilt-poll side, with potatoes and swiss chard as side dishes. Besides the fish, the most important ingredient is olive oil, because you use it both on the grill and the fish.
So, how do you grill a fish the Dalmatian way?
First, you gut and clean the fish, dry it, season it with salt and pepper and wash over with olive oil. This step helps to achieve a crispy and evenly grilled exterior. Then you put the fish on a hot grill which you previously smeared with olive oil and let it cook. Use a rosemary branch to apply olive oil on the fish as it grills. This not only prevents sticking but also gives a pleasant Mediterranean aroma. By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to grill a fish the Dalmatian way. Sounds pretty easy, but there are many traps this easy-looking dish can serve.
There are many tips and tricks for achieving the perfect fish grill, here are a few crucial ones.
How to grill fish as a local
Select fresh fish
The best fish to grill is undoubtedly fresh fish. Freshness ensures that you savor the natural flavors and textures of the fish, allowing you to indulge in a truly exceptional culinary delight.
When selecting fresh fish, check for clear, bright eyes that are slightly bulging. Dull or cloudy eyes indicate aging. Skin should be shiny and moist, not dry or discolored and the flesh should be firm, elastic, and spring back when pressed gently.
Believe it or not, grilling takes only a few minutes, depending on the size of the fish.
For example, a gilt-poll weighing 250 grams will take 15 minutes, and a sardine will take 5 minutes. Overgrilling a fish can kill all that juicy fresh taste, so be careful.
Don’t center fish on the grill
Place the fish more towards the corners of your grill because its center is the hottest. This way you avoid burning the fish.
Olive oil is your friend
The worst that can happen is that the fish sticks to your grill. You can prevent this by smearing it in olive oil before putting it on the grill.
Be very gentle
Cooked, grilled or poached, fish meat is prone to breaking down into pieces. When turning it over on your grill, use two spatulas and be very careful not to break it apart.
Mix lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and fresh rosemary to sprinkle the fish after it’s done. Trust us, it will bring all the flavor of the Mediterranean and you will reap the benefits of this healthy cuisine.
If all this is a bit much, but you still want to try this traditional dish, our Camp has experienced chefs who know how to grill a fish to perfection. If you’re interested in how chefs prepare seafood, we offer demonstrations on the deck of restaurant Mali Raj, every Friday during July and August. For those who want to learn it all, there are organised fishing trips where you can see how the fish is sourced right from the sea.
Pairing grilled sea fish with Croatian delicacies
Pairing grilled fish with other delicacies is a culinary art that emphasizes the importance of proper food, side dish, and beverage pairing for a complete dining experience.
Soparnik, a traditional Dalmatian dish, is a savory pie filled with a combination of Swiss chard, onions, garlic, and parsley. The fresh seafood flavors and herb-infused soparnik come together to create a delicious combination.
When it comes to experiencing the flavors of Croatia, Istrian truffles are a culinary treasure that shouldn’t be overlooked. These highly-prized and aromatic fungi are commonly served onto various dishes, such as pasta, risotto, and even grilled fish. Earthy and distinctive notes of Istrian truffles take the seafood to new culinary heights!
Traditional side dishes for grilled fish
Fish in the Adriatic region is commonly served with side dishes, and the most famous ones are boiled Swiss chard and potatoes, potato salad, and blanched zucchini.
Swiss chard and potatoes need to be cooked, seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. As for the potato salad, you’ll need boiled potatoes and fresh onions. Season the salad with olive oil and vinegar, and enjoy the taste of the Mediterranean!
As for blanched zucchini, just slice them, blanch with a touch of salt, and delight in the flavors of this delicacy! Enjoy your meal!
Local wine recommendations
When it comes to local wine recommendations, these indigenous grape varieties are worth exploring. The Trbljan grape offers a crisp and refreshing character, with notes of citrus and herbal undertones. Višan, also known as Maraština, presents a medium-bodied wine with a touch of minerality and delicate floral aromas. Topol, on the other hand, showcases a fuller-bodied wine with rich tropical fruit flavors and a hint of Mediterranean herbs. These local wines from Pag embody the unique character of the island, reflecting the influence of the sea and the sun.
Grilled fish is an essential part of a fulfilling gastronomic experience while visiting Croatia. However, if you’re still undecided on where exactly to spend your vacation in Croatia, be sure to explore the cultural and culinary offerings of the island of Pag. Nestled on Pag, you’ll find a tranquil oasis of natural beauty – Camping Village Šimuni. Visit our website to explore our offers and secure your reservation.
Book your spot in Camping Village Šimuni today and treat yourself to the best of Croatian seafood!