Cioppino Seafood Stew - Profood Limited
  • Cioppino Seafood Stew

Some people mistakenly believe that cioppino, the tomato-based seafood stew, originated from some picturesque Italian coastal town. In fact, it's more likely it was created by the Italian-American community in San Francisco – not that it really matters either way, but it’s still a fun little urban legend that makes a good conversation topic for the next time you eat this dish!

Cioppino Seafood Stew Ingredients

Cioppino is fairly easy to make at home and is especially great if you need to host a big party at short notice; all you need to do is to get hold of the freshest seafood you can find, which isn’t too difficult in Hong Kong. There's no restriction on what or how many types of seafood you put in, but a good cioppino typically includes clams, shellfish and chunks of fish.

I personally find it easier and quicker to use canned tomatoes and tomato paste to create the stew’s rich flavour, but feel free to use fresh tomatoes instead. Either way, a couple of spoons of Stefano Rocca’s Lobster Sauce does wonders to augment the cioppino’s umami flavour and give the stew an additional complexity. Traditionally, it is served with crusty bread on the side but for this dish, I boiled some Verrigni linguine to soak up all that flavourful sauce – a perfect rustic winter warmer!

Serves 4


250g Verrigni linguine (half the packet)
8 medium prawns – shells on
8 large scallops – fresh or previously frozen
200g firm fish fillet (like snapper, cod, sea bass or halibut)
400g Manila or Venus clams
400g (1 medium can) of whole peeled tomatoes
2 tbsp of tomato paste (alternatively, use 6 large peeled and diced tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes and tomato paste)
1 medium-sized onion, finely diced
2 heaped tbsp of Stefano Rocca lobster sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp of paprika
3 tbsp of olive oil (I used Casanova di Neri’s Extra Virgin)
½ cup of water
Handful of fresh parsley leaves, torn or cut into smaller pieces
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Clean all the seafood separately under running water then dry completely with kitchen towel. Cut the fish into 1-inch chunks.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté them for around 10 minutes, stirring frequently so the onions don’t burn.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, canned tomatoes (with all the juice), water, bay leaves and paprika. Turn down the heat to low, cover the pot and slowly simmer for 30 minutes to let the flavours in the stew develop.
  4. Add the clams, turn up the heat, cover the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes until the shells have opened. Add the prawns, fish chunks and scallops and simmer on a medium-low heat for another 5 minutes.
  5. Discard the bay leaves, along with any clams that don’t open. Taste the stew and season with salt and pepper. Add the lobster sauce and stir in the torn parsley leaves.
  6. Meanwhile, immediately after you’ve put the seafood in the stew, fill another large pot with water and bring it to boil. Cook the linguine according to the instructions on your packet (mine required 8-9 minutes). Once done, drain the pasta and ladle a couple of spoons of pasta water into the stew and mix together.
  7. To serve, put the cooked pasta into four separate deep soup plates or pasta bowls then place the seafood items on the side using tongs. Ladle the stew sauce on top, and garnish with a splash of olive oil and some extra parsley.

For more of Gary’s food adventures, head to his blog Joie De Vivre.

About The Author

A self-professed gourmand who loves both eating out and experimenting with new cooking techniques at home, Gary also writes his own blog Joie de Vivre to keep track of his many eating and travelling adventures (as well as occasional mumblings about random things!). When he's not too busy eating, drinking, cooking and sleeping, he enjoys travelling, collecting kitchen gadgets, watching football and playing golf. Follow him on Instagram for even more food inspiration!

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