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A classic fish stew from southern France


  • 1 litre fish stock
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ a fennel bulb
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1 large white onion
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 200g tinned tomatoes
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 750g white fish (gurnard, cod, grey mullet)
  • 2 whole squid bodies, cut into strips and scored
  • 8 scallops
  • 100g prawns
  • 8 clams
  • 250ml white wine, Vermouth or Pernod

 For the rouille

  • 75g baguette, crust removed
  • 100ml fish stock
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 250ml olive oil


  1. Cook the onion and fennel in some olive oil for about 8 minutes until the onion becomes soft. Pour over a little water if they begin to stick.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and bay leaf. Bring to a rapid simmer and allow to reduce down until a couple of tablespoons of liquid remain.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook down. Crush them with the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the white fish and squid, cover with the stock and add the star anise. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Add the prawns, clams and scallops, simmer for 7-8 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. While the prawns are cooking, make the rouille.
  8. Serve with slices of baguette and rouille.

For the rouille

  1. In a small processor, soak the bread in the fish stock with the garlic, cayenne pepper and saffron for a few minutes
  2. Blitz until smooth. Add the yolk and continue to blitz.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it becomes thick like a mayonnaise.

Recipe by Jody Spencer

Taste Buds chef: Jody Spencer

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The MayJune 2020 issue of Taste Buds is out now