Bouillabaisse (French Seafood Stew)

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: seafood soup, seafood stew
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Enjoy this easy saffron infused bouillabaisse recipe, perfect way to enjoy good seafood! 


  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 shallots (minced)
  • 1 cup fennel bulb (thinly sliced)
  • 1 stalk celery (minced)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 1 lb white fish (I used Alaskan true cod, feel free to substitute with halibut or ocean trout) (cut into bite sizes)
  • 2.5 lb seafood mix (your choice of shrimp, clams or mussels, lobsters, scallops, crab meat, squid, etc, defrosted in the fridge for a few hours, if frozen)
  • 1 jar oyster (1 jar = 10 oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (1 can = 28 oz) (with juice)
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • parsley (chopped, to garnish)
  • crushed red peppers (red pepper flakes) (to garnish, optional)


  • Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)
  • 1 tsp basil (or minced 1 fresh basil leaf)
  • 2 Tbsp parsley (fresh)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Bouillabaisse 1
  2. In a small bowl, combine saffron and sherry and set aside.
    Bouillabaisse 2
  3. Cut vegetables and fish into bite size pieces.
    Bouillabaisse 3
  4. Prepare and clean seafood as necessary. Some of the Costco sells a great frozen seafood medley pack and we used it today. It saves quite a bit time not having to clean and cut the seafood.
    Bouillabaisse 4
  5. In a large pot (I use a big Le Creuset pot), heat olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and all the chopped vegetables (onion, shallots, fennel bulb, celery stalk, and carrot) and sauté on low heat until lightly golden brown (20 min).
    Bouillabaisse 5
  6. Add Seasonings and mix well.
    Bouillabaisse 6
  7. Add all the liquids: a can of tomatoes with juice, clam juice, the juice from jar of oyster, and the saffron infused sherry. Bring it to just a boil and lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.
    Bouillabaisse 7
  8. Add all the seafood. When the soup starts to boil, skim off the scum and fat from the soup. This is a key point to have a good clear soup with refined taste.
    Bouillabaisse 8
  9. Keep simmering for 15 minutes.
  10. Top with garnishes and serve immediately with bread.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from


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