This is a really easy and brilliant fish stew that’s perfect for any occasion from a quick supper to a party or even Christmas if you aren’t into a traditional roast. Add lobster or prawns to make it feel more celebratory, or use cheaper fish and mussels for a more frugal recipe. The chilli lifts the whole dish and makes it a really exciting thing to eat. I love having the background warmth of dried chilli and the kick of fresh chilli oil.

Serves
2

Preparation

15min

Cooking

25min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 4.1 (16 votes)
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Ingredients

  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, tough outer layer removed, flesh finely chopped, fronds reserved
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 mild red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) white wine
  • 2 x 125 g (4¾ oz) red mullet or red snapper fillets
  • 200 g (7½ oz) clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 200 g (7½ oz) mussels, scrubbed and rinsed with beards removed
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 thick slices bread, toasted, to serve

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.

Instructions

Heat some oil in a large, wide, heavy-based pan (with a lid). Gently fry the onion, celery, fennel flesh, garlic and half the chopped chilli with a pinch each of salt and dried chilli flakes for 8 minutes or until soft. Stir in the tomato and a dash of water and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Turn the heat up and pour in the wine. Turn down and leave to simmer for 3 minutes until the liquid has slightly reduced.

Cut the fish into large chunks, season well, and add in a single layer, pushing the pieces down so they are covered by the liquid. Cook gently for 3 minutes, then add the clams and mussels. Stir gently to combine, then place the lid on the pan and leave to steam for 3 minutes until the clams and mussels have opened. (Discard any clams or mussels that don’t open.)

Place the remaining chopped chilli in a small bowl and cover generously with oil. Divide the fish stew between 2 bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and fennel fronds and spoon the chilli oil on top. Serve with toast, drizzled with more chilli oil.


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