Recipes for Cioppino, Bouillabaisse, Fish Stew, and Fish Soup

Ken Jones

Staff member
For a good clarification of the differences between Cioppino, Bouillabaisse and Seafood Chowder, check out the following.

Posted by Ken Jones

From Pier Fishing In California, 2nd Ed. — On a cold winter day nothing beats a hearty chowder, soup or stew to warm the innards. Why not use fish in the stew? The following is a Hungarian-type stew which is best with a firm-fleshed fish such as shark or sturgeon but which really can be used with almost any type of fish fillets as long as they are thick enough to cut into chunks.

Fishy Goulash Stew


• 1 pound shark, guitarfish, sturgeon or similar fish with meat cut into 3/4 inch chunks
• 1 large green bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch squares
• 1 can stewed tomatoes
• 1 small zucchini squash (or other type of squash)
• 1/2 small yellow onion cut into 1/2 inch squares
• 1 cup egg noodles
• 3 cans chicken broth
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 Tablespoon butter
• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (dried)
• salt and pepper


• Mix together the butter, oil, bell pepper and onion in a soup pot. Cover and cook the mixture at a low temperature for 5 minutes.
• Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
• Add the tomatoes, squash, onions, noodles, chicken broth, paprika and red pepper. Heat to boiling and then simmer for 12-15 minutes (until the noodles and squash are just about done).
• Add the fish chunks and cook for a few more minutes until the fish is done. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Posted by frozendog on March 16, 2006

Easy Mediterranean Fish Soup

• First of all, I have made this five times and it was a little bit different each time. That's because I used what I had in the refrig — veggies and fish, the cupboard — spices, and the in freezer — shrimp.
• I started off with 1/2 a chopped onion, some garlic (to taste), and 1/2 of an anise, sauteed in olive oil until softened.
• Stock: I took the easy way and used canned chicken stock. Added 2 1/2 cans to the onion mixture. How much you use, depends on how much you want to make. I added: oregano, cajun seasoning, lemon peel, Chef Paul's Poultry Magic, a little chicken boullion to fortify the stock.
• Finally a little orange ginger sauce. Brought the stock up to simmer then added a 1/2 cubed potato, sliced red bell pepper, cubed zuccini, 2 shitaki mushrooms and a cubed tomato. I let this simmer 15 min until the potato was done.
• Fish: I used cabezon and rockfish, cut into bite sized chunks and also peeled a few shrimp. Added to the broth and let simmer about 10 minutes and it was done. The fish is naturally tender so it cooks quick.
• Once again, no set recipe, just use what you have. Next time I'm fishing and see some mussels, I'll grab them to add to the pot. The last time I made it, we had some leftover cheese ravioli and I throw some of those in too. Notice, no salt and pepper. Add it at the table to taste.
• We served it with some stuffed mushrooms and some grilled fr. bread.
•This is something you can make up the day before you go fishing so you will have an easy dinner when you get home.
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Ken Jones

Staff member
For nearly a decade most of my fishing trips along the coast were taken with my fishing buddy Mike Granat. We both loved to fish and both loved to eat fish and other seafood. Several times we stopped at Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing to have some fish, chowder, or the dish that made the restaurant famous—cioppino. Famous? Why? One of the most popular shows on the Food Network was the "Throwdown with Chef Bobby Flay" where he would challenge a restaurant on their specialty dish. He challenged Phil's Fish Market on their Cioppino—and Phil's won. It made the restaurant a little too famous. Too famous? it moved the needle from pretty busy most of the time to too busy most of the time. Since neither Mike nor myself were too tolerant of lines, and waiting for food, it pretty much ended our visits to Phil's. Today Mike has passed and whenever I am driving by Moss Landing I think about stopping one last time to celebrate our times together at the restaurant.

Phil's Fish Market Cioppino

[Here it is: Phil's Fish Market cioppino recipe, also known as the best cioppino on the West Coast. Straight from the master himself, Phil DiGirolamo of Phil's Fish Market — From their website.]

Ingredients for the Cioppino:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 pound Little Neck clams
  • 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed
  • 2 quarts Cioppino Sauce, recipe follows
  • 2 dashes Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pinch saffron
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pound Dungeness crab, cooked, cleaned and cracked,
  • or 1 pound cooked crab meat, preferably Dungeness
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shell on
  • 1/2 pound squid tubes, cut in rings
  • 1/2 pound firm-fleshed white fish
  • fillets cut in 2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 pound bay scallops
Ingredients for the Cioppino Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet basil
  • 1 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
  • 28 ounces water
  • 1 tablespoon clam base without MSG, optional
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • Dash Gluten Free Worcestershire sauce
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Kosher salt, to taste
Preparation/Cooking For the Cioppino:
  1. Put the olive oil, butter, and garlic in a wide, deep pot over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, but not brown. Add the wine and the clams, and cover. Turn the heat up to medium-high and steam until the clams start to open, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and steam until the just start to open, about 2 minutes.
  2. Now stir in the cioppino sauce, the Worcestershire sauce and saffron and bring to a simmer. Add the cracked crabs, if using, and the shrimp, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Then gently stir in the fish, squid and scallops, and simmer until they are all just cooked through, about 5 minutes. (If using cooked crab meat, stir it in very gently the last minute or so of cooking time.)
Preparation/Cooking for the Cioppino Sauce:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic, bay leaves, parsley and basil and cook, stirring, just to warm the garlic—do not let it brown.
  2. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, water, clam base, brown sugar, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, black and red peppers, cinnamon and salt to taste. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer uncovered for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
By the way, whenever I am visiting in Santa Cruz I try to stop by and have a meal at Stagnaros Restaurant out at the end of the wharf. Excellent seafood whether fish or shellfish and one of my favorites is their cioppino (Giovannis Famous Cioppino) which I actually prefer over that at Phil's Fish Market. It's normally around $25 but is (or at least was), a special one night a week—Tuesday night(?) when it is about $15. If I am there the night it's on special, I always make it my meal. I remember one night when Hashem (Mahigeer) had journeyed up from Los Angeles and we visited the restaurant. We had recently been in Avalon on Catalina Island and had an overpriced bowl of very disappointing cioppino. I talked him into trying the cioppino at Stagnaros and not only did he like it but he bought some to take back to his wife in Los Angeles.

Ken Jones

Staff member
Posted by Ken Jones

Here's a basic Bouillabaisse recipe that I slightly modified. It comes from Cleaning and Cooking Fish by Sylvia Bashline.



• 1 medium green pepper, chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 cups fish stock *
1 cup clam-tomato juice cocktail (available in markets)
• 1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
• 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 1 bay leaf
Fish—Use two different textured and/or flavored fish
• 1/2 pound rockfish or lingcod fillets, skin on
• 1/2 pound cabezon, sturgeon or shark fillets
• 1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 can (6 1/2 ounces) mined clams, drained


• In Dutch oven (or other pot) cook and stir green pepper, onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until onion is tender (about 4 minutes)
• Add fish stock, clam-tomato juice, tomatoes, sugar, salt, thyme, tumeric, pepper and bay leaf. Heat to boiling.
• Reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally to break up tomatoes, for 15 minutes.
• Cit fish into 1-inch pieces.
• Add fish, shrimp and clams to stew.
• Cook over medium heat, stirring gently, until fish flakes easily and shrimp turns opaque (about 5 minutes).
* Or substitute 1 can (14 1/2 ounces ) ready-to-serve chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups water; omit the salt.

Ken Jones

Staff member
From the first magazine that I sold an article to — Western Saltwater Anglers

Snapper Stew

Recipe from Lue Park, Galley Gourmet, Western Saltwater Angler


• 2 pounds snapper (rockfish) fillets
• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 green pepper, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 medium carrot, very thinly sliced
• 3 cups tomato juice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• ½ teaspoon dried crushed basil
• ½ teaspoon dried crushed oregano
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 2 medium zucchini, sliced
• 1 eggplant
• Parmesan cheese


• Cut fish into bite-size pieces
• In a large kettle (approx. 4 quarts) heat oil and sauté onion, green pepper, garlic and carrot until vegetables are tender firm
• Stir in tomato juice, salt, sugar, basil, oregano and pepper
• Peel and cube eggplant and add to mixture
• Cook 5 minutes
• Add fish and cook another 10 minutes
• Garnish each bowl of stew with grated Parmesan cheese
• Serve with hot French bread