Recipe: Cioppino | Fisherman’s stew
California has some of the best seafood, from the oysters at Hog Island in San Francisco to the clams at San Diego’s Ironside Fish and Oyster. As a follow-up to my recent travels to San Diego, here’s a recipe for cioppino.
Despite it’s Italian-sounding name, cioppino is thought to originate in San Francisco when fishermen needed sustenance after a hard day’s work at sea. The fresh catches of the day would be cooked in a simple, hearty stew, and the leftover broth would get mopped up with crusty bread (specifically sourdough if you want to stick to San Franciscan customs).
Cioppino is simple yet elegant enough to serve on a special occasion. I once made it for my pops on his birthday since he always dreams of seafood stews.
Since the quality of the stew is largely determined by the freshness of the seafood, cioppino does not make for good leftovers. You can, however, make the broth ahead of time, and then obtain your fresh seafood and cook it in the reheated broth right before serving.
With colder weather around the corner, fisherman’s stew is a fantastic option as it’ll warm your body but not leave you feeling heavy. Happy cooking!