The Croatian Cooking Technique Seafood Fans Need To Know

From grilling, poaching, and baking, there are many ways to prepare and season seafood. You can pan fry your shrimp in garlic butter, cook your mussels escabeche style, or salt-bake your fish whole. Methods tend to differ depending on what type of seafood you're working with, but there's one versatile enough to be used on everything from lobster to clams. According to Taste Atlas, the method is called buzara and it comes from the coastal regions of Croatia, namely Dalmatia and Istria, where seafood is a staple.

The buzara technique calls for cooking seafood in a combination of olive oil, wine, garlic, and fresh herbs — usually parsley. There are two different versions of buzara — white and red — which differ by wine and the addition of tomatoes. Red buzara is made with red wine and either fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce, while white buzara is made with white wine and no tomatoes. These ingredients, the occasional addition of breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper are all you need.

How to cook Croatian style seafood

Though the buzara method can be used on any type of seafood, per Taste Atlas, the most common is with shrimp, to make a dish called škampi na buzara. As The Spruce Eats explains, škampi na buzaru is typically made with shell-on shrimp to create a flavorful sauce that can be soaked up with bread.

To make your shrimp or seafood according to the buzara technique, start by heating a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and breadcrumbs, and once the breadcrumbs have toasted, go in with garlic, parsley, and tomatoes. The Spruce Eats also recommends adding Vegeta seasoning. Wait for this to come to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer, then add wine, salt, and pepper. Bring this to a boil once again, add shrimp (or any other seafood), then reduce the heat for a final 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with polenta or bread, and your seafood dish is ready to enjoy.