The seafood stew is a tasty Mediterranean dish prepared not only with mussels but also with fish fillet, shrimps, and calamari. It is rich in taste and texture, genuine and nutritious, perfect for a special occasion.
The seafood stew with tomato sauce is a specialty from all the Mediterranean countries. If you can’t resist the temptation of the fine and creamy tastes with seafood, don’t miss the Seafood Soup with Heavy Cream, Seafood Soup, Seafood Risotto, and the Shrimp Coconut Curry.
What is the best fish for seafood stew?
Easy and versatile, you can put any fish in this stew. My option is the firm white fish for seafood stews because the cooking time is very short. Cod or halibut works best for this recipe. However, if at the market you get fresh rockfish fillets, don’t hesitate to buy some. Bluefish also has an extraordinary taste of the sea. Do not mix, of course, blue and white fish because the cooking times are different. If you use blue fish, you can put mackerel, sardines, or dices of tuna.
What seafood to use for the stew?
Besides being an absolute deliciousness, this seafood stew is also versatile in preparation. Choose the seafood for your stew depending on which part of the world you’re reading these lines. If you are somewhere near the beach where you can indulge yourself with a rich range of seafood, then pick any at your discretion.
However, if you, just like me, are far away from the tickling water of the sea, be content with whatever you find the freshest. For this stew, I used calamari, tiger shrimps, mussels, and prawns. I would have used mussels and other diversity of seafood like baby squids but I couldn’t get anything fresh and appealing, so I quit the idea. I promise that with as little as this seafood your stew will be heavenly luscious.
What veggies to use for the seafood stew?
With a mix of fresh veggies, a portion of seafood stew has all the makings of a well-rounded meal. Starting from the idea that seafood has a fine texture, the best veggies should only enhance the taste. I can’t imagine a good seafood stew without garlic and tomatoes. This perfect couple is irreplaceable and is the base for a good old-school stew with sea creatures. Further on, I find fennel and celery part of this opera as these add a touch of freshness to the dish. Then, of course, the chili pepper or chili flakes and the parsley.
The list of veggies for this seafood recipe is so simple yet the result is complex and rich. Again, make sure the veggies are fresh when using them not only for this recipe but for whenever you are cooking.
How to clean and prepare the seafood?
Like it or not, it is something we ought to do when cooking seafood. Cleaning different seafood can be done in different ways. In this article, I will refer to the ingredients specifically used in this recipe.
- How to peel shrimps/prawns
Proceed by eliminating the head, then the carapace all together with legs and the tail. Don’t miss the most important part -the intestine. It is a black thread that is on the back of the shrimp. The intestine can be removed with the help of a toothpick. Find the intestine of the shrimp and get it out because it can be full of feces and, therefore, not exactly good to eat!
- How to clean mussels
Use a knife to remove all the barnacles and encrustations formed on the shell. Then scrub the mussels one by one under running water using a stiff brush or the rough side of a washing sponge. Finally, put the mussels in a bowl filled with cold water with a little salt and leave them for half an hour. This is when the sand and the impurities will come out.
- How to clean the calamari
Cut the calamari head from the rest of the body. Pull the head well in order to also eliminate the entrails of the mollusk. Remove the transparent cartilage present inside the body and rinse it. Pull off the outer skin using your hands.
With the help of a knife, separate the tentacles from the eyes and entrails. Take out the spout of the squid by pushing with your fingers from the opposite side. Finally, rinse again.
How to cook seafood stew?
Start by preparing the veggies. Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic, fennel, and celery. Heat the oil in a medium-large pan and add the chopped vegetables. Cook slowly until soft but not too brown colored, for about 5 minutes.
As soon as the sautee is soft, add in the calamari rings and the diced fish fillet. Cook it for about 5 minutes then deglaze it with white dry wine. You can already smell the mesmerizing aroma of the soon-to-become- seafood stew.
At this point, pour in the canned tomatoes and crush them using the spatula. It is time to season the content with all the spices you like most. In my version, I sprinkled granulated garlic, chili flakes, salt, and paprika. Let the stew simmer nicely for about 5-7 minutes.
Add the biggest prawns and let them become pinkish. Then add in the mussels and the shrimps. Mix well for everything to be well coated in the sauce and cook evenly. Taste for salt and sugar. Yes, taste for sugar as well. If it tastes too acidic, feel free to stir in one teaspoon of sugar to balance the sourness.
In another 5 minutes of simmering on low heat, your seafood stew is ready. Just sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley on top and serve immediately. I’m sure that the smell tormented you throughout the cooking and you can’t wait to devour it.
How to serve the seafood stew?
Serve the course next to grilled artisan bread. the seafood stew is so perfectly rounded that you don’t need any additional side dish to have a full meal. Nonetheless, you might like pairing it with rice or pasta. Whatever your choice is, don’t forget to pour a glass of chilled white dry wine.
Seafood Stew with Tomato Sauce Recipe
- 1 calamari
- 20 oz shrimps
- 10 oz prawns large / tiger
- 1 fillet cod
- 20 oz mussels
- 2 cans tomatoes peeled
- 3 ribs celery
- 1 onion
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 fennel bulb
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp salt or more
- 1 tsp sugar optional
- Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic, fennel, and celery
- Heat the oil in a medium-large pan and cook the veggies for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir often
- Add in the calamari rings and the diced fish fillet. Cook it for about 5 minutes
- Deglaze with dry white wine
- Pour in the canned tomatoes and crush them using the spatula. Mix well
- Season with granulated garlic, chili flakes, salt, and paprika
- Let the stew simmer for about 5-7 minutes
- Add the biggest prawns and cook till pinkish
- Add in the mussels and the shrimps. Mix well for everything to be well coated in the sauce and cook evenly
- Taste for salt and sugar. If it tastes too acidic, feel free to stir in one teaspoon of sugar to balance the sourness
- Allow simmering on low heat for another 5 minutes then sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley
- Serve with a glass of chilled white wine