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Cioppino with Barramundi

Cioppino is a classic San Francisco seafood stew that is a lot easier to make than you might think. Wam, cozy and perfect with a hunk of sourdough and a glass of wine.

Prep Time

        Prep time: 30 minutes
        Cook time: 50 minutes
        Yield: Serves 4


    •    1 bay leaf
    •    2 tbsps olive oil
    •    1 tbsp tomato paste
    •    pinch red chili flakes
    •    3/4 cup dry white wine
    •    1 cup bottle clam juice
    •    salt and pepper to taste
    •    Crusty bread, for serving
    •    1 cup thinly sliced fennel
    •    3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    •    25 littleneck clams, scrubbed
    •    2 tbsps finely minced fresh parsley
    •    1/2 lb 16 - 20 count shrimp, shell on
    •    3 tbsps unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    •    1/2 lb mussels, scrubbed and debearded
    •    1 x 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
    •    1 sprig fresh thyme (substitute 1/4 tsp dried)
    •    1/2 lb barramundi fillets, cut into large pieces
    •    1 sprig fresh oregano (substitute 1/4 tsp dried)
    •    1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
    •    1/2 lb king crab legs, cracked and broken into large pieces


  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, chili flakes, bay leaf, thyme, and oregano, then sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until incorporated, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Go easy on the seasoning for now, as the seafood will add a significant of salt.
  2. Add the white wine and clam juice, then bring up to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and break them up a bit with a wooden spoon. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and add the mussels and clams. Stir them around to coat with the broth, then cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. When they just begin to open, add the shrimp and king crab and toss around to coat, then lay the barramundi fillets on top. Season the barramundi with salt and pepper, then cover and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the shrimp and barramundi are opaque throughout.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter until incorporated. Taste the broth and add more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with lots of crusty bread on the side for dipping.

This great family recipe is thanks to Coley Cooks at


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