Pau Bouillabaisse


Courtesy of David Blackburn, Villa Hutton

Bouillabaisse is a traditional French stew made with fresh fish and shellfish, hearty fish stock and tomatoes. Using your own canned fish stock, this recipe is quick and simple, with a total preparation time of about 45 minutes. Bouillabaisse is inherently adaptable to whatever seafood is available. Fish from the Gulf of Mexico or local rivers would make a great Texas version—try grouper, drum or halibut. Even some river-caught catfish would be tasty. And of course Gulf spiny lobster, shrimp, crawfish or clams would work beautifully. Choose a variety of textures to make it interesting!

Super easy

Pau Bouillabaisse


For 8 Person(s)


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 6 cups home-canned whole tomatoes
  • 1 orange's juice and zest
  • 4 cups home-canned fish stock
  • 1 pinches saffron
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds assorted white fish, cleaned (filleted if desired) and cut horizontally into 1½-in. pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 pounds large lobster tail, shelled and sliced into 8 pieces
  • 1 pounds shrimp, prawns or crawfish
  • 1/2 pounds each mussels and clams, cleaned

Pau Bouillabaisse Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leek and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and half of the orange juice and zest and bring to a simmer. Using a wooden spoon, break the tomatoes into chunks.
  2. After the tomatoes are broken down, slowly add the fish stock, maintaining the heat of the pot, and then add the saffron. Return to a simmer and adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the orange flavor with the remaining juice and zest. (The orange flavor should be light and fresh, but not overpowering.)
  3. If you are having guests, turn off the stove and cover the pot, as the final preparation should be done just before serving. To finish, add the fish and parsley and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the lobster and shellfish, then cover and simmer for 6 minutes, or until shellfish have opened. Serve immediately with toasted baguette and rouille on the side to mix with the broth.

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