The quality of the seafood and fresh fish in Korcula and all-around Dalmatia is incredible and there are a variety of things to taste. Below we share with you some things to try on your trip to the island (and surrounding area).
“Fish must swim three times – in water, in olive oil, and in wine.”
Seafood dishes to try on Korcula
Try it cold in a refreshing salad mixed with capers and fresh tomatoes or hot in a peka dish. This style is where the octopus is placed within a sealed dome and cooked slowly over a fire.
The squid season starts in September so if you visit then expect to see lots of small fishing bobbing out at sea. A great way to eat squid is simply grilled and or fried lightly in batter (as calamari)
Some of the best shellfish comes directly from the nearby Peljesac mainland (most notably in Ston) including mussels, oysters, and clams.
This is a visibly distinct dish, coloured black by cuttlefish ink. It typically contains mussels, clams, and other shellfish.
Although this is expensive, served in a buzara (tomato) sauce it is very delicious. Lobster is with the big claws, crayfish is the one with the spikes. It is typically charged by the uncooked weight.
Fish to try on Korcula
How to choose fish
You may see fish advertised on a menu as 1st class/white fish or 2nd class/blue fish. The first category of fish is more expensive and is something like tuna. The second class of class is less expensive (but still totally tasty) and is something like mackerel.
Fish will either be sold as a portion at a set price (a portion is usually around 300g) or sold by the weight of the whole raw fish. This can end up costing you a lot more than you would expect. So do not be embarrassed to ask the waiting staff how much your fish weighs and the cost before you agree to have it cooked. The same should apply when ordering lobster.
The best tasting fresh fish is that caught no more than 24 hours before being eaten. So, if picking your fish from one of the display iceboxes or a platter brought to your table, there are a few tell-tell signs it is fresh, the most obvious being the eyes. They should be pitch black, bright and full; if it is not fresh the eyes become dull and start greying. The body of the fish should also be firm, shiny, metallic and clean. If the colour is dull or has discoloured patches, it is not good. Lastly, the fish should not smell, a slight odour is the most you should notice.
Cooked simply on the grill with a healthy glug of local olive oil, is the most popular way to enjoy fish on Korcula. Look out for the fish stew called Brudet. This consists of various types of fish stewed with onions, tomato sauce, a splash of vinegar, and spices.
Below we have listed a few popular types of fish you can find on Korcula and their Croatian name in brackets.
This probably needs no description as no doubt you’ll know the flavour! A few years ago you wouldn’t often find tuna on the menu, other than the weirdly shaped flat ones that clearly had come out of the freezer or out a can for a salad. Thankfully now we have wonderfully fresh flavoursome tuna. Large fish like this are sold by the portion.
Sea bass and sea bream (lubin/brancin and orada)
Packed with flavour sea bream has meaty white flakes while sea bass is much more delicate in texture
Red scorpionfish (škarpina)
Recognisable from it’s red colour and spines, it’s juicy and meaty. It’s one of the most expensive fish you will find.
John Dory (kovač)
Although known as one of the ugliest of fish, John Dory is a delicious fish with delicate white flesh and a firm, flaky texture.
This is an oily fish with flesh similar to mackerel. Depending on its size it may be served filleted or as steaks.
Amberjack is a mild-tasting fish usually served as a steak and in my opinion, has similarities to tuna. The texture is more like swordfish but juicer.
Delicious just cooked on the grill, this oily fish is one of my favourites. Just watch out for the bones which are trickier to remove.
It’s not so often to find sardines on menus, but if you do find it, order it and get in with your hands to eat it! You may also find sardines cured in salt.
If you order a tasting platter along with cheese and prsut ham it’s quite likely there will be some salted or lemon cured anchovy fillets included. Utterly delicious – try them even if you usually say, I don’t like anchovies!
Need more translations of Croatian names of fish? This is a great list to bookmark.
Korcula Island Guide
Would you like more insider tips and recommendations about Korcula Island? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide packed full of information so that you can plan and enjoy a truly memorable holiday on Korcula. Click here to download your copy.