Traditional marseille bouillabaisse

Traditional marseille bouillabaisse


Luke Nguyen's France
Alan Benson

Marseille is the home of bouillabaisse, where it was originally cooked by local fishermen as a simple, filling meal. It should include a variety of fish, including scorpion fish, to be truly authentic.


Quantity Ingredient
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into slices 1 cm thick
1 whole red mullet or red snapper, cleaned
1 whole john dory, cleaned
1 whole scorpion fish, cleaned, if unavailable, use 500 g grouper cutlets, with the bones intact
4 cod cutlets

For the broth

Quantity Ingredient
700g whole rock fish, cleaned
1 cod head
2 onions, chopped
2 fennel bulbs, chopped, (reserve the fronds)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
750ml white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon saffron threads

To serve

Quantity Ingredient


  1. Place all the broth ingredients in a large stockpot. Add a generous pinch of sea salt, then pour in 4 litres water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 3 hours.
  2. Place one large strainer on top of another, over a large saucepan. Strain the broth into the pan, pressing the fish into the strainer to extract all the rich flavours. Discard the fish bits, reserving only the broth.
  3. Return the broth to medium heat and add the potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes, then add all the whole fish and fish cutlets and cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the fish and potatoes to a large platter. Pour the broth into a large soup bowl. Garnish with fennel fronds, reserved from the fennel bulbs used for making the broth.
  5. Traditionally, you would serve the broth with the aïoli, rouille and croutons as a starter, and serve the fish as a main meal.
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