Crab, prawns, salmon, halibut, clams galore — if you desire fresh Northwest seafood (and of course you do), then you will fall head-over-heels for this simple yet flavorful Northwest cioppino, and so will everyone who is lucky enough to share it with you. Don’t forget a crusty bread to sop up all the saucy goodness in the bowl. Get every drop!
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of red chili flakes
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 to 3 sprigs lemon thyme
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth,
Pinch of saffron
1/2 pound fresh halibut
1 pound fresh salmon
1 pound fresh steamer clams
1 pound fresh spot prawns or any large-count prawns you prefer
2 fresh Dungeness crab, cooked and cleaned
Extra virgin olive oil to finish
Lemon wedges for garnish
To make the stew, sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil along with chili flakes, salt, and pepper over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add paprika, cook 30 seconds, and then add white wine to deglaze. Cook 7 to 10 minutes, and reduce wine by half. Add tomatoes and lemon thyme, and cook 7 to 10 minutes to reduce tomatoes and develop their flavor. Add chicken broth and saffron, and simmer another 7 to 10 minutes. Add the final 2 tablespoons of butter, and melt it into the soup.
Slice the fish into 2-inch cubes; pieces should all be roughly the same size. Begin this process 10 minutes before serving. Heat the broth between medium and medium-high. With the broth at a simmer, add clams and cook 2 minutes. Then add fish and cook 6 minutes. Then add spot prawns and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure to cover with a lid between each addition of seafood. Finally, add cooked crab to warm through, roughly 1 minute. Check for seasoning before serving.
Serve a half-section of crab in each bowl, along with fish, clams, and prawns. Cover with the delicate, rich broth; garnish with lemon wedges; add a splash of olive oil; and enjoy! Don’t forget artisan bread and plenty of butter.
- To avoid overcooking the fish, if you need a little more time before serving, just turn the heat off while adding fish and shrimp to the broth for cooking.
- Clams should take 5–10 minutes to open. Discard any clams that have not opened after 15 minutes.
- Halibut and salmon need to cook as smaller chunks poached at 140 degrees for roughly 6 minutes.
- Spot prawns need to be cooked 2 to 3 minutes or until opaque.