Cioppino San Francisco Style Recipe

Ready to eat: 45 min
Nia Bennett | Apr, 22 2019

Cioppino is an Italian dish that was invented in San Francisco in the 1800s. I love discovering recipes that have history and because I am a coast lover. This fisherman’s Cioppino recipe is close to my heart. Although if you are visiting San Francisco, stay clear of the tourist traps on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area. That’s the area where this recipe was first invented and hence also has a notorious reputation of being overpriced.

What I completely adore about traditional cioppino stew is that it’s made using seafood remains that were left over from the day's catch. Unlike other recipes, cioppino doesn’t have strict dos and don’ts. While making mine I’ve added crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and white fish, all sourced from the salt-water ocean. However, if you are craving a nourishing bowl of fish soup, feel free to add the ones you love or you’ve got access to in your area. Some make it using red wine while others stress on using white for fish. Like many recipes, there are many variations but I prefer mine moderately thick.

However, on a cold day, this nourishing flavour infused bowl will make you relish seafood even more and I guarantee that.

What makes this seafood stew tasty is the graceful combinations of infused onions, garlic, herbs fresh tomatoes, fish cooked in a wine sauce. I love mine with freshly baked bread, but feel free to have it it’s own as well. Although the taste of cioppino is heightened with some sourdough or French bread.  If you haven’t tried it yet, dipping bread in this flavoured stew is divine and a highly recommended method!


Serves: 6

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, large diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 celery, finely diced
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 cooked crab, cracked and cleaned or crab meat thawed
  • 2-3 fresh cod, diced
  • 400g raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 200g fresh mussels
  • 2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt to taste
  • 5-6 thin slices of lemon


Prep: 10 min > Cook: 35 min > Ready to eat: 45 min

  1. Combine butter and olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-low heat.
  2. Stir in onion and celery with a pinch of salt; cook until onion is soft and golden for five minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for a minute.
  3. Stir wine into onion mixture; increase heat to high and bring to a simmer.
  4. Stir in tomato puree, water, bay leaf, oregano, chili flakes, and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer 35-40 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in lemon and cod, return to simmer, about two minutes.
  6. Stir in crab, shrimp and mussels. Cover and simmer until all mussels are cooked and open, about 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in fresh parsley and basil; season with salt and pepper to taste.

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