Bouillabaisse recipe

Bouillabaisse recipe

Bouillabaisse is a classic French dish. It’s a fisher’s stew. This is one recipe where we use the wings of red emperor, however, any species of reef fish flesh is suitable.


  • 8 whole mussels in shells
  • 350g baby squid
  • 200g Hervey Bay scallops
  • 800g green prawns
  • 6 red emperor wings
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tsp saffron powder
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 140g tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp fresh marjoram
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 1 cup white wine, sauvignon blanc
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 leek, white part thinly sliced
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stick of tiger bread, broken into pieces


  1. Skin red emperor wings. Bring the water to the boil and add the fish wings, bay leaf, peppercorns and peel of an orange to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Peel the prawns, leaving the head and tail intact. Clean the baby squid and slice the body into four pieces, cutting the squid tentacles from the head.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the leek, fennel bulb, garlic and pinch of salt, and slowly sauté.
  4. Add the tomato and wine and then turn the heat up and cook until the wine is reduced to half.
  5. Strain the fish wing stock into the wine pot. Remove the flesh from the bones, discard bones and set fish aside.
  6. Add the marjoram, saffron, tomato paste, fish sauce and chilli flakes and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Add the prawns and mussels and two minutes later add fish.
  8. Add the scallops and two minutes later add squid pieces and tentacles. Simmer until the squid is just cooked through.
  9. Serve immediately, garnish with fennel fronds and use tiger bread to dip into stew.

Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 50 min | Serves 6-8

About Melissa Frohloff

Melissa is Bush 'n Beach Fishing magazine's celebrity chef. She is happy to share all her tasty recipes.

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