Recipe: Bouillabaisse (Seafood Stew)

Bouilliabase, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Bouilliabase, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog

Bouillabaisse is a classic French dish from southern France, requiring many varieties of fish.  We had the opportunity to make this dish recently, in my Culinary Arts I class.   All of the chopping is well worth the effort, as the final product is a delight!

1/4 cup olive oil
8 oz. mirepoix:
– 4 oz. onion, minced
– 2 oz. carrots, minced
– 2 oz. celery, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup fennel bulb, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf, whole
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 slices lemon
2 slices orange
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch saffron threads
1 cup white wine
2 cups fish stock
Assorted seafood, cleaned: scallops, clams in the shell, mussels in the shell, shrimp, cooked lobster (slice in half/butterfly if pieces are large).

Here is the lobster that we boiled for this recipe:

Live Lobster, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Live Lobster, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Boiled Lobster with Butter, courtesy:
Boiled Lobster with Butter, courtesy: Food Mingle Blog










  1. Heat olive oil in large, heavy pot and sweat the mirepoix for a few minutes until it starts to get tender.
  2. Add garlic, shallot, fennel, thyme, parsley and bay leaf, and then sweat them until the garlic is cooked but not brown.
  3. Add citrus slices, tomatoes, wine, saffron and stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Remove citrus slices after 5 minutes.
  5. Bring up the heat and add seafood in order of cooking time
    1. add clams first – wait for shells to open during cooking – this means they are done
    2. add the balance of the seafood in order of their cooking time needed – bring to a boil after adding each one
  6. Simmer for 2-3 minutes more, just until fish is done.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed with salt and/or pepper.
  8. Remove bay leaf and parsley sprig.
  9. Serve in bowls with crusty bread or croutons (or over rice or pasta)
  10. Garnish with chopped parsley, fennel leaves and lemon wedges, if desired.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • Wash the outside of the clam and mussel shells thoroughly in cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • If you do not have fish stock, you may substitute vegetable stock or water, but know that the flavor will not be as rich as if you used fish stock.

Yield:  4 servings

Source: Culinary Arts 1: Fundamentals of Food Preparation – Lab Manual,” Monroe Community College, Department of Hospitality Management, Chef Gerald Brinkman, M.S.Ed., Assistant Professor and Michelle M. Bartell, M.A., R.D., CDN, Professor




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