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Cioppino! O what a great fish stew!

By No Comments3 min read

Usually during the summer when my daughter comes to visit we go to a local restaurant that serves Cioppino and she orders it every time. Just our luck this year, Cioppino was not on the menu!  What is a mother to do late on a hot summer’s day but to make her daughter Cioppino! What is Cioppino? It is a fish stew in a nice tomato and wine broth served with toasted bread.  Although this dish sounds Italian, it actually got its start in San Francisco believe it or not in the late 1800s by Portuguese and Italian fishermen.

So I searched Google for recipes and after much research I decided to make Giada De Laurentiis recipe that I found on line!  I liked this recipe because it had fennel and would have a nice broth with the seafood. I found so many recipes for Cioppino. I looked carefully at each recipe to see if it would give me the flavors I was looking for; it is so important doing that when researching recipes to make sure you like everything that goes into it.  The whole recipe has to work for you or you have to be comfortable tweaking the recipe which is a talent I don’t have.

Making Cioppino does not come cheap!  I looked for fish that was on sale but it still cost me over forty dollars to make this one dish! I took a few short cuts in making the recipe.  I did not have a recipe for fish stock and could not find it in the supermarket already made.  Being such a hot day, I did not want to make it from scratch so I used a combination of clam juice and chicken broth. It worked beautifully in the recipe and it saved me time from making my own fish stock.  The clams and mussels took longer to open than the recipe suggested and I was afraid that they would never open, but in time the majority of clams and mussels opened and I discarded the shellfish that did not open up as the recipe tells you to do.

Here is Giada De Laurentiis recipe for Cioppino!  The recipe turned out very well and everyone enjoyed it.  This is a recipe I will definitely make again!


Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min

Level: Easy

Serves: 6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 5 cups fish stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks


Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.





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