Cioppino - San Francisco's Famous Seafood Stew

Summer cioppino
Thomas Barwick/Stone/Getty Images
  • 95 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: 6 large portions
Ratings (21)

This great Cioppino recipe is a version of the City by the Bay's signature dish. Cioppino is a delicious stew featuring an array of fresh seafood in a flavorful tomato and wine sauce, just waiting for a large hunk of sourdough bread to be dunked into it! This Cioppino recipe is San Francisco's famous Fisherman's Wharf in a bowl.

Italian fishermen developed this Ciopinno recipe during the mid-1800's. There are two stories about where the name "Ciopinno" came from. Most believe it's based on an Italian soup called "ciuppin." A more colorful version is that the fisherman used to gather after the day's work was done and all tossed different pieces of fish and seafood into a communal pot for supper. They would call out to each other in broken English "chip in," "hey you, chip in," and this was the root of the word Ciopinno. While it's not a likely story, it is certainly more interesting!

What You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28-oz)
  • 2 cups clam juice or fish stock
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1
  • lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Dungeness crab (about 2 lbs), cracked and cleaned, or 1 lb frozen crabmeat thawed
  • 2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 1-in slices
  • 24 large prawns, peeled and de-veined
  • 12 mussels
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

How to Make It

  1. In a large pot, on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the celery and onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and fresh parsley. Simmer on low, uncovered, for one hour. Add a splash of water if the sauce gets too thick. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
  2. Add the crab, shrimp, and halibut, and simmer covered another five minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mussels open. Turn off the heat and stir in the Italian parsley.

    Ladle the Ciopinno into large bowls and serve with lots of sourdough bread and red wine.