It’s been one week since I came back from the recent Japan trip, and I’ve been feeling extremely cold here in San Francisco after spending 6 weeks in hot and humid weather there. My body isn’t completely adjusted yet and all I want for dinner is nice warm soup…
Then I remembered the Cioppino recipe that I made a while ago. So today I am taking a break from summer recipes and will share this delicious seafood stew instead. I hope my South Hemisphere readers are happy to see this nice warm dish in the midst of winter.
My family and friends really enjoy the easy French seafood stew, Bouillabaisse, and I had been wanting to try a really good seafood stew that originated in San Francisco called Cioppino. Cioppino is an Italian-American dish, and traditionally made from the catch of the day including Dungeness crab, clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, scallops, and fish (read more here).
There are whole a lot of Cioppino recipes out there, but the recipe I used today is from the famous fish market in Moss Landing, Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery. I haven’t had a chance to visit this restaurant yet in person, but from a little bit of research online Phil’s recipe seems pretty authentic and I wanted to give it a try. I adapted the recipe a little by reducing the serving size and changing some ingredients. I was afraid of including the whole Dungeness crab (Continuing the topic from my previous post about Mango Lassi Popsicle, I also became allergic to crab in my early 20′s…so sad!), so I only included a little bit of crab meat instead.
Don’t get intimidated by the long list of ingredients because the process is fairly simple. It’s really worth it at the end! I hope you enjoy this really flavorful seafood stew. I’d definitely need a big bowl right now… so cold!
While I was researching for cioppino recipe, I found this video of Throwdown with Bobby Flay at Phil’s Fish Market. You’ve guessed it, they competed to see who can make the best Cioppino!
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup white wine
- ½ lb. Little Neck clams
- ¼ lb. mussels, scrubbed
- 2 quarts Cioppino Sauce, recipe follows
- 2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 to 1 ½ pound Dungeness crab, cooked, cleaned and cracked (To save time I bought ¼ lb. cooked crab meat instead)
- ¼ pound medium shrimp (shell-on if possible for more flavor)
- ¼ lb. squid tubes, cut in rings
- ½ lb. firm-fleshed white fish fillets (I used Pacific Cod), cut in 2-inch cubes
- ⅛ lb bay scallops
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ large or 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, halved, core removed, and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp. chopped sweet basil
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice (16 ounce total)
- Dash Worcestershire sauce
- ½ Tbsp. brown sugar
- Black pepper, to taste
- Crushed red pepper, to taste
- Kosher salt, to taste
- First we make the Cioppino Sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel bulbs and sauté until translucent.
- Add the garlic, bay leaves, parsley, basil and thyme, and cook, stirring, just to warm the garlic. Do not let it brown.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, black and red peppers, and salt to taste.
- Bring to boil and skim off the scum and fat. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer uncovered for about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
- To make Cioppino, put the olive oil, butter, and garlic in a large 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 3-5 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and steam until the just start to open, about 2 minutes.
- Now stir in some cioppino sauce, the Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Add the cracked crabs, if using, and the shrimp, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the fish, squid, scallops, and cooked crab meat.
- Gently stir in the rest of cioppino sauce and simmer until they are all just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook.
- Serve in large bowls, shells included. Sprinkle with minced parsley. Serve with crusty French baguette. Enjoy!
If you use clams and mussels, make sure to check if the shells are cracked or opened. Those that are just slightly open may still be fresh. To check, squeeze the shell shut. If they don’t stay closed, discard them.
To learn how to de-grit clams, click here.
I used 1.5 pound seafood medley (from Costco) which contains mussels, clams, shrimp, and bay scallops.