How to Make Boston Fish Chowder

Boston Fish Chowder

The predecessor of the more famous clam chowder, this recipe is almost exactly the same except for the use of fish and fish broth. 

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, New England
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Craig Fear


  • 3-4 ounces salt pork, diced or 3-4 pieces bacon, chopped into small pieces (use fattier strips if possible)
  • 2 TBSPs butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 2 TBSP fresh thyme leaves, about 6-8 sprigs, leaves removed or 1 TBSP dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 TBSPs flour, optional
  • 3 cups fish broth
  • 2 cups potatoes, diced
  • 1 to 1.5  pounds meaty white fish - cod, haddock, hake, etc
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, to taste


  1. Saute salt pork over medium heat until the fat renders, about 5 minutes. If using bacon, saute a few minutes until it starts to brown but be careful not to burn it.
  2. Add butter, onions and celery, thyme and bay leaves and saute about 5 minutes more, until onions become soft.
  3. Add flour (if using), mix well and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes, making sure not to burn.
  4. Add fish broth and stir well, further incorporating the flour mixture, making sure there are no lumps. Add potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 - 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Add the fish and simmer a few minutes until it is cooked through.
  6. Add cream, gently stir (so as not to break apart the tender chunks of fish) and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Serve in individual bowls and add fresh parsley and additional salt and pepper, to taste.