OUR FAVORITE SPANISH FISH SOUP CHOICES
Ordering a Spanish style fish dish can be tricky, after all, translating fish names is one of the hardest endeavors any traveler has to face when ordering food. And it’s such a shame that often visitors miss out on the delicious Spanish fish dishes out of fear of ordering the wrong (too adventurous) thing. I’ve seen it often, either eating out with my guests, or simply taking them touring the food market.
This is our Spanish seafood stew selection:
Very popular in coastal zones where fresh fish is available, it is a seafood and fish stew served with a nuts and almond sauce called picada. In each region they use a different type of fish that might vary also depending on the local catches and the season of the year, but food experts agree that this recipe can be considered the “Spanish Bouillabaise”. It is often served with a nutty sauce called “picada”.
This stew was a staple among fisherman in the Catalan and Valencian coast. When fisherman finished their long workday, they used to prepare this stew dish with all the fish that could not be sold. It’s the most appreciated fish stew in our area and you’ll often find it in restaurants along the Costa Brava.
Fish caldereta is such a simple dish that it used to be considered “food for the poor”, and now it’s become a quite expensive one! It’s done in a reduction of water, oil, wine and vegetables plus some protein that can be meat or seafood. Lobster caldereta is probably the most popular Spanish style fish soup and it’s typical from Menorca, where they add thinly sliced old bread that quickly absorbs the liquid – a delicacy!
Fish casseroles are very popular Spanish seafood dishes: zarzuelas, suquets in Catalonia… used to be done by fishermen with fish leftovers when they were still at sea, and they had limited (and poor) ingredients available.
Marmitako is the Basque version of it, and it can be made with different fish, although tuna and its cheaper variety bonito are the most popular ones for this recipe, which other main ingredient are potatoes.
Green and red peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onions, as well as sun-dried Spanish peppers and chilies are also added for flavor, then cooked in (couldn’t be otherwise) white wine and fish stock, in really low heat.
Although technically more a rice dish than a fish dish, arroz caldoso is a soupy rice recipe that usually incorporates fish and seafood, so we decided it’d be a good match for this post. Plus it’s quite common in good paella restaurants, too – what means more opportunities for you to try it! My brother and my father love the one they make at Botafumeiro in Barcelona.
What are your favorite Spanish fish soups?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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