Bouillabaisse originated in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille. A fish stew, the origin of its name is the Provençal Occitan word bolhabaissa – from bolhir (to boil) and abaissar (to simmer). 






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (52 votes)


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, roughly chopped, fennel fronds reserved for serving
  • 2 leeks, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 kg rock fish, cleaned, scaled and chopped into 4 pieces each
  • 100 g tomato paste
  • 1 kg ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 litre fish stock
  • 3 g saffron threads
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 10 black mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 5 green Moreton bay bug tails, removed from the shell
  • 12 scallops
  • 1 small bunch tarragon, chopped
  • sea salt, to taste


  • 2 Desiree potatoes, peeled and chopped and steamed until tender
  • 1 small pinch of saffron threads
  • 4 garlic cloves, pounded into a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • 1 baguette
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Wine pairing: Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay, Multi-Region


1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, fennel, leek, onion and rock fish pieces, reduce the heat to low and cook, without browning for 8-10 minutes. Increase the heat to high, then add the tomato paste, tomatoes, fish stock, saffron and orange zest. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

2. Using a mouli, puree the bouillabaisse liquid. If you don’t have a mouli, push the mixture through a coarse sieve pushing down on the solids firmly to extract as much liquid as possible. Strain again through a fine sieve. Reserve 100 ml bouillabaisse for the rouille and pour the remainder into a clean saucepan.

3. For the rouille, using a fork, mash the potato until smooth. Whisk in the reserved bouillabaisse soup, saffron, olive oil and garlic until well combined. Season to taste and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. For the croutons, preheat the oven to 180˚C. Slice the baguette into 1 cm-thick pieces. Place the croutons on a baking tray, brush both sides with oil, then bake until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.

5. To serve, bring the bouillabaisse to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently. Add the mussels and bugs, cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Spread the croutons with rouille. Divide the uncooked scallops between the serving bowls, then pour the hot bouillabaisse over the top. Stand for 5 minutes to let the scallops cook. Top with the croutons, then sprinkle with the tarragon and fennel fronds and serve immediately.


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