New England Bouillabaisse

New England Bouillabaisse

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Craig Fear


For the optional rouille (makes about 1 ½ cups):

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • pinch cayenne smoked paprika, red pepper flakes or dash hot sauce
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the bouillabaisse:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 leeks white part only, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 plum tomatoes skinned and deseeded
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 quarts fish stock or lobster stock or 1 quart clam juice plus 1 quart water or fish stock
  • 1 grated zest from one orange
  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 pounds littleneck clams scrubbed and rinsed clean
  • 1 pound mussels scrubbed and rinsed clean
  • 1 pound lean white fish such as cod, haddock, flounder, monkfish, black sea bass, blackfish
  • 1 pound fatty fish such as striped bass, mackerel, bluefish, swordfish, salmon
  • 1 pound Gulf shrimp
  • ½ pound scallops and/or squid

Optional seasonings, to taste

  • Fresh basil chopped
  • Fresh parsley chopped
  • Fresh tarragon chopped
  • Lemon wedges
  • Salt and pepper


For the rouille:

  1. Preheat broiler in the oven.

  2. Remove the top of the pepper and slice into 4 pieces. Remove the seeds and fleshy parts.
  3. Lay the pepper slices skin side up on a baking sheet and broil about 10-15 minutes, or until the skin is charred.
  4. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Peel off the skins.
  5. Add pepper, garlic, egg yolk, and lemon juice to a food processor and blend well.
  6. Gradually add olive oil in a slow and steady stream with blade running, until the mixture thickens like mayonnaise. Salt and pepper, to taste.

For the bouillabaisse:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot (at least 10 quarts) add onion, leeks, fennel bulb and fennel seeds and saute for about 5 minutes or until veggies are fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic in the last minute.
  2. Add tomatoes and wine, stock and simmer several minutes until wine is slightly reduced.
  3. Add stock, orange zest, saffron threads, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and cayenne. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add clams, cover and simmer 5-7 minutes or until shells open.

  5. Add mussels, cover and simmer 3-5 minutes or until shells open.

  6. Add fish, shrimp, and optional scallops and squid. Add more stock and/or water, if needed. Simmer about 5-10 minutes or until fish is cooked through and easily flakes apart.
  7. Ladle into individual bowls and add optional seasonings, to taste.