Fiš Paprikas

Fiš Paprikas

Croatia’s love for fresh fish meets Hungary’s goulash
traditions in this fiery fish broth from northeastern Croatia.
This is a hot, hearty take on the traditional ‘catch of the day’.

Fiš paprikas harks back to the Austro-Hungarian empire and is influenced by the cuisine of Croatia’s northeastern neighbour, Hungary. In the Croatian region of Slavonia, fish such as trout, carp and catfish populate the Drava, Sava and Danuba rivers that carve up the land. The dish combines the resources available in the region – freshwater fish, homegrown paprika, farm-fresh chilli peppers and springwater – to make a deceptively simple soup.

You’ll need
Olive oil
2 onions, peeled and diced
2 tbs tomato paste
Pinch of salt
2 tbs hot paprika
Large freshwater fish (trout,
carp, catfish or pike),
cleaned and cut into pieces
1 stock or bouillon cube
¼ cup (60mL) white wine
Handful of cut hot pepper
Packet of wide egg noodlest

Cooking Method
1 Put the onions in a pan with a splash of olive oil and saute over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
2 Add the tomato paste, salt, paprika, fish, stock or bouillon cube and 6 cups (1.5L) of water per kilo of prepared fish.
3 Simmer over a medium heat for about 15 minutes.
4 Add the wine and cut hot pepper, and cook for another 30 minutes over a low heat. The sauce should have a rich, brothlike consistency.
5 Cook the noodles in hot boiling water.
6 Pour the sauce over the noodles and serve.

Tasting notes
At the annual fiš paprikas competition held every July in Slavonski Brod, hundreds of participants line the river Sava with iron-cast cauldrons and buckets of freshly netted fish. If you don’t own a cauldron, you can make fiš paprika on a household burner or hob. Catfish is a favourite in the region; aficionados say its flakes are softer in the mouth than those of carp or trout. The taste is enhanced by cut hot pepper and paprika. Opt for a mixture of sweet and hot paprika if you can; for fiš paprikas, locals love the sweet, delicate kulonleges variety, mixed with the self-explanatory eros classification. The resulting dish is comforting and warming, with spice laced through the flakes of fish.

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