Friday, January 4, 2013

cioppino {italian seafood stew}

 One of our favorite places to eat in California is Phil's Fish Market. Their cioppino is so yummy, even chef Bobby Flay couldn't beat Phil in cioppino cook-off. :) This year for Christmas, my husband wanted to try making his own version of cioppino. It turned out really good and it was very simple to make. It's hearty and warms you up -- perfect for Christmas dinner! We got the original recipe from Whole Foods, which is my husband's favorite store to shop for good food.


Garlic - 4 cloves
Red pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp
Yellow onion - 1 large (chopped finely)
Fennel - 1 bulb
Green bell pepper - 1 med
Diced tomatoes - 1 (28 oz) can
Kale - 2 cups (chopped in big pieces)

Chicken broth - 2 cups
White wine - 1 1/2 cup [optional - replace with chicken stock]
Tomato paste - 2 TBS
Dried oregano - 1 tsp
Dried thyme - 1 tsp
Dried basil - 2 tsp
Salt & pepper - to taste

[Seafood goodness] **see TIPS
Cod fish - 1 lb
Crab meat - 1 tub (8 oz)
Medium shrimp - 1 lb (tails on)
Mussels - 1 lb

French baguette - however much you need **see TIPS
Olive oil or butter - for brushing
Garlic salt - dash


  1. Chop garlic and onion finely.
  2. Trim, core and slice fennel. (we didn't know how, so we checked out online. Here)
  3. Cut green peppers in slices (discard seeds)
  4. Chop Kale and wash couple of times. 
  5. [Seafood] Cut cod fish into 1-inch pieces. Shell and de-vein medium shrimp (leave the tail on if you like), wash mussels if they are not prepared beforehand. **see TIPS


  1. In a large pot (at least 7-8 quart), heat 2 TBS oil and fry garic, red pepper flakes, onion, fennel, bell pepper and kale until softened - about 5-7 minutes. 
  2. Stir in can tomatoes (put the whole thing with liquid and all), broth, wine and tomato paste. Stir in seasonings - oregano and thyme. Bring soup to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the french baguette into 1/2 inch thick. Brush olive oil onto the surface, sprinkle with a dash of garlic salt. You can use butter if you prefer more butterly taste.  Bake for 7 minutes on one side, flip on the other side and bake for another 8 minutes.
  5. [Seafood] Add in fish and crab in the broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Don't over stir or else the fish will break into small pieces. 
  6. [Seafood] Add in shrimp and mussels. Cover and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Make sure the mussels are open. 
  7. Season with basil, salt and pepper.


  1. Serve soup hot with freshly baked bread. A nice refreshing salad on the side will be good, too.
  2. Don't forget sparkling cider to celebrate! 


  • I found all the ingredients in Costco. Get the tail-on, raw, de-veined shrimp from frozen section. Crab meat is a can one. For mussel, they usually have packaged prepared ones (not frozen, so check at refrigerated section). If you can't find mussel, they sell can clams, which is a good substitution. 
  • French baguette from Costco is really yummy, too!
  • Not a big fan of baguette? Use sourdough bread instead. You can even core out round sourdough bread and pour the soup inside, just like at Phil's.

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