Rich Basque fish stew

Rich Basque fish stew


Taste le Tour

From the Basque/Atlantic region

Basque cooking is influenced by both French and Spanish cuisine. It is full of colour and strong flavours, such as olive oil, chilli and saffron.


Quantity Ingredient
1.5kg firm, whole, white fish
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small leek, finely sliced
1 small onion, finely sliced
1/2 small capsicum, diced
1/2 long red chilli, finely sliced
2 tomatoes, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs parsley
A pinch saffron threads
150ml dry white wine
freshly ground black pepper
50g plain flour
12 scampi
500g mussels, thoroughly scrubbed and beards removed
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 slices toasted bread, rubbed with raw garlic


  1. Ask your fishmonger to clean and scale the fish, and to cut it into 5 cm pieces. Ask him to remove the fish heads and to cut them into pieces.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the leeks, onions and fish heads. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the capsicum, chilli, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, parsley and saff ron and stir well. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Add enough water to cover and season with a little salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Pat the fish pieces dry and coat lightly with flour.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan and fry the fish pieces for about 1 minute on each side. Add the scampi, then the mussels. Strain the fish stock into the pan, shake well and cover with a lid. Cook over a medium heat until the mussels have opened.
  6. Ladle the stew into deep soup plates. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with the garlic toasts.
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