If the idea of making a seafood bouillabaisse recipe totally intimidates you, then you should know our 15-year old son, Blake, made this one. All by himself. He made it for his dad and my 89-year old dad for a Father’s Day blowout dinner and I have to say, it was truly out of this world.
Although the long ingredient list might seem a bit intimidating, this incredibly delicious and nutritious Provencal stew is really not all that tricky to make.
These are the two most important things to keep in mind when making this–or any– bouillabaisse recipe:
- Make sure the seafood you buy is super super fresh.
- Do like the chefs and mise en place (set in place) all of your ingredients. You want every single thing you plan to use in your stew prepped and ready to go before you turn on the stove. I admit, I don’t always organize myself before I start cooking, but our son is fastidious about doing so (his dad is a surgeon, so he must get that from him, wink.) Here’s Blake’s bouillabaisse recipe preparation in the photo below…
Take Your Bouillabaisse Recipe to the Next Level….
Now, if you want your bouillabaisse recipe to be out of this world delicious and over-the-top nutritious, then the third thing you’ll want to do is make your own fish broth. Don’t freak out, this is a lot easier than it might sound! And if you are following a clean eating diet for health reasons, like I am, then once you read about the incredible benefits of fish broth, you are really going to want to get into making this a staple part of your diet. I know bone broth is all the rage, but fish broth really should be right up there too.
I had no idea fish broth was as nutritious as it is, but our son insisted on making the entire bouillabaisse recipe from scratch and the broth was so incredibly good that I could hardly get enough of it. It was almost like I was intensely craving whatever was in there. I was so curious about the nutritional composition that I decided to do a little research. Sure enough, homemade fish broth is a gold mine of nutrients! I was blown away by the health benefits of homemade fish broth (not to mention the delicious savory flavor) that I am now specifically looking for clean eating recipes I can make that call for fish broth.
The fish stock our son made for his bouillabaisse recipe below was a mild flavored one he got online from Epicurious. Because it didn’t require using fish heads, it was easier to make than most fish broths. One thing to keep in mind with fish broth is that you want to simmer it over low heat in order to make sure you extract the most nutrition, but don’t get the heat so high that the nutrient components break down! Just keep it going low and slow.
The only other two things to point out with this bouillabaisse recipe are:
- Look for canned San Marzano tomatoes if you can. I used these for my Oven Baked Chicken recipe and they really do stand out as exceptional tomatoes. I personally like Cento brand.
- I like using organic, unrefined red palm oil as much as possible these days because it is such an incredibly rich source of antioxidants vitamin A and E and it is more heat-stable than extra virgin olive oil. Read more about why organic, unrefined red palm oil has become a clean eating staple pantry item in our house. If you don’t have this specialty oil though, you can always substitute extra virgin olive oil all the way.
- 1 tablespoon organic (unrefined red palm oil (such as Nutiva brand))
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Spanish onions (finely chopped)
- 3 carrots (peeled and finely chopped)
- 2 cups diced red potatoes (keep the skins on for fiber)
- 2 1/2 cups finely chopped fennel (about 3 bulbs)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- Pinch or two of cayenne pepper
- 2 cups crisp white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 can (28-ounces whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (such as Cento’s brand))
- 6 cups homemade fish broth (if you don’t want to make homemade fish broth, see notes below)
- 6 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 heaping teaspoon saffron threads
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound large shrimp (shelled and deveined (reserve the shells for fish stock if you are making homemade!))
- 24 mussels (cleaned)
- 2 dozen littleneck clams (cleaned)
- 1 pound each of halibut and monkfish (cut into large chunks)
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup parsley (chopped)
- Heat the oils over medium-heat in a Dutch oven or large heavy stockpot. Add the onions, carrots, potatoes, fennel, thyme, salt and pepper; saute over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until the onions begin to brown.
- Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer the vegetables in the wine for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes with their juices, fish stock, garlic, saffron and bay leaf to the pot; simmer 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Discard the bay leaf.
- Add the shrimp, mussels, clams and fish; bring liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover and cook 5-minutes. The shrimp and fish should be cooked and the mussels opened. Discard any mussels that don’t open. Stir in the orange zest.
- Serve the bouillabaisse in large bowls and add the fresh parsley. Serve warm.
Want More Healthy Dinner Recipes?
If you liked the bouillabaisse recipe, be sure to check out a full month’s menu of delicious healthy dinner recipes (including weekly shopping lists!) in our Clean Cuisine Dinners digital cookbook.