I was at a French restaurant in Changi with my hubby. I have been wanting to try a seafood stew and I did order a serving of Seafood Bouillabaisse. The waiter actually asked if I had one before and knew what I was ordering. Well...well... I think he was being nice but It didn't come fro that way or rather a bit rude. So out of spite, I decided to cook Seafood Bouillabaisse in the same week. I was naughty lah...
Seafood Seafood... There is this love-hate relationship with seafood. They are sweet and delicious but not that easy to cook as toughen up when over-cooked. I often choose to steam, deep-fry and stir-fry seafood. I would love to make a quick seafood soup.
I browsed through Julia Child's books and learnt that Bouillabaisse orginated as a "simple, Mediterranean fishman's soup, made from the day's catch or its unsaleable leftovers". The fish chosen from this soup should be firm-flesh so it does not flake off too easily. However as we know, food evolve and the simple dish is made into a dramatic production of luxurious seafood soup.
Recipe (Serves about 6)
450g Yellow onions, chopped
85g Leeks, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
450g Ripe tomatoes, chopped
6 Parsley sprigs
1 Bay Leaf
2 Thyme sprigs
1/8 tsp Fennel seeds
2 pinch of Saffron
1 piece of 2 inch Orange peel
1 kg Fish head, bones and trimmings (I use salmon)
1.5 litre of Water
Pepper and salt
In a medium pot, cook onions and leeks in olive oil over low heat until onions are translucent.
Add in garlic and tomatoes and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Add in water, herbs, seasoning and fish bones.
Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
Strain the soup base and transfer to a new pot.
500g Salmon or any firm fish fillet, sliced thickly
300g Prawns, shelled and deveined with head intact
500g Clams, washed thoroughly
300g Mussels, washed and beard removed
300g Scallops, deshelled
Boil the soup base.
Add in salmon and prawns and cook for 5 minutes.
Add in the rest of the seafood and boil rapidly for 3-5 minutes. The shellfish should open up when cooked. Do not over cooked.
I am throughly impressed yet again by Julia Child. The soup was sweet and light. Way better that the restaurant I went. If I were there again, I would say "Not only I ate Seafood Bouillabaisse before, I cooked it too!".