A 19th century dish created by San Francisco fisherman to make with their fresh catches of the day.


prep 0:30       total 1:00


10 servings



1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1 bulb fennel, sliced
2 tsp. salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
3 oz. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1-3/4 lb. crushed Roma tomatoes
8 fl. oz. clam juice
2 cups white wine
1-1/2 qt. water
1 lb. fresh shrimp
1 lb. mussels
1 lb. manila clams
1-1/2 lb. halibut fillet
1/2 lemon, juiced
12 basil leaves, chiffonade


Add the water to a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil.

Peel the shrimp, remove the tails and devein the shrimp. Add the shrimp shells and tails to the water. Reduce heat to simmer, and let simmer for 10-12 minutes to make a shrimp stock. Remove from heat, strain the liquid and set the stock aside for later.

In a stock pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, shallots and fennel; saute for 10 minutes, or until slightly tender. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes; saute for another 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir it in well. Add the bay leaf, Roma tomatoes (including their juices), clam juice, shrimp stock and white wine. Stir the stock pot, then cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Clean and debeard the clams and mussels. Remove the skin from the halibut, and chop the fish into 1-1/2 inch pieces.

After the stock pot has simmered for 30 minutes, add the clams and mussels, and let simmer for 4 minutes. Add the halibut, then the shrimp. Let cook for another 4 minutes.

Chiffonade the basil leaves. Ladle the stew into bowls, and garnish each bowl with the basil chiffonade.

Author's Comments

A 19th century dish created by San Francisco fisherman to make with their fresh catches of the day.

If you know how to peel and devein shrimp, you know how to make this dish.

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1 Recipe Reviews


mario reviewed Cioppino on February 1, 2012

This is exactly what I expect a cioppino to taste like.