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What is Italian Fish Stew?

What is Italian Fish Stew?
italian fish stew main

What exactly is Italian fish stew and what is it called, you ask? There is a popular dish originating in Frisco (San Francisco) called Cioppino. It’s not credited for being fully Italian or fully American. It’s a nice, cultural combination dish!

The ways to prepare Cioppino vary widely but the most popular ones include fish, clams or mussels, shrimp or scallops, and maybe a little squid if you’re feeling frisky enough! I personally love squid and would definitely include it in my recipe.

What Ingredients Do I Need for Italian Fish Stew?

For the best and truest flavor, the following ingredients are recommended and compiled into an “averaged-out” list of popular picks.

  1. Olive oil
  2. Fennel bulb
  3. Chopped onion
  4. Chopped shallots
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. Chopped garlic cloves
  7. Red pepper
  8. Tomato paste
  9. Tomatoes
  10. White wine and/or wine vinegar
  11. Fish stock and/or clam juice
  12. Bay leaves for flavoring, not eating
  13. Clams
  14. Mussels
  15. Shrimp or scallops
  16. Fish, such as cod
  17. (Squid!!)
  18. Breadcrumbs for a thicker sauce

You can keep your Italian fish stew simplistic or make it a little thicker and more flavorful by adding breadcrumbs and extra seasonings.

For my first time attempting one of these recipes, I’d probably keep the stew base as simple as possible! I made a seafood medley served over linguine a while back and it was amazing! I was tempted to make a sauce for it and the pasta, but the light sauce it created on its own was perfect with just a little sliver of butter tossed in.

If you haven’t experienced a lot of seafood yet, you’ll soon find that most seafood is best with something light, garlicky, and buttery or something tangy alongside it. As a kid, I drenched most seafood in cocktail sauce or buttery garlic sauce. Now I like to season it lightly and barely touch it with a sauce unless I’m enjoying a creamy seafood alfredo!

Since we’re enjoying Italian fish stew, I don’t want to add too much! But I understand some people have a hard time enjoying brothy soups and stews, so by all means, add some breadcrumbs to yours! Cioppino should also typically go very well with garlic bread! (I make cheap garlic bread myself a lot of times!)

I hope you find a recipe you’re interested in and it turns out well. Tell me how yours tastes!

About Brittany Davidson

Brittany is the main writer and content creator for Food Questions. She believes life is worth living if you're constantly learning, enjoying, and admiring things. Passion is her backbone and she tries not to do anything without it. Sharing information is as valuable as sharing a smile, Brittany says.

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