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Grilled seafood bouillabaisse

Serves 6

Unlike traditional bouillabaise recipes, here the fish is grilled separately and placed in the soup to serve. This means that oily fish, such as salmon, may be included, and each fish retains its colour and texture. Use any white reef fish, such as garfish, snapper or black bream.

crab stock 

2 kg crab, reserve claws for garnish

150 ml olive oil

4 sticks celery, roughly chopped

2 medium onions, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

400 g crushed tomatoes

125 ml sherry

peel of 1 orange

15 strands saffron, roasted and crushed

2 bay leaves

12 sprigs thyme

4 litres water


3 large waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced thickly

3 leeks, sliced 2 cm thick

2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and cut into 8 wedges

4 tomatoes, seeded and diced

salt and pepper

1.4 kg black mussels

750 g salmon fillet, skinned and cut into thick slices

750 g white fish fillets

12 king prawns (2 per person)

To make the stock, remove the underbody of the crab and pull away the dead man’s fingers. Cut the body in half and bash the shell and remaining claws into largish pieces. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil to smoking point. Saute the crab briefly. Add th celery, onion, garlic and fennel seeds and saute for a further 2 mintues. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, then skim. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for an hour, skimming from time to time. Strain and reserve the stock


When ready to make the bouillabaise, parboil the potatoes in half the stock., then add the leek and fennel and cook for 4 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, taste and season lightly. Remove the pan from the heat and keep t one side.


Steam the mussels in half a cup of the stock until all have opened. Grill the salmon, white fish and prawns. Ladle the broth into 6 bowls and divide the seafood evenly between them. Serve with Cumin Rouille (see page 105, Arabesque) and crusty bread.

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