Becky Luigart-Stayner Photo by: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Bistro Bouillabaisse

Featuring a tempting variety of seafood, this is the signature dish at Sean Murphy's Beach Bistro. The recipe can easily be doubled to serve four.

Cooking Light MAY 2005

  • Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 2 cups)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vertically sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup julienne-cut leek
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup diced plum tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • Dash of crushed saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod or sambuca (licorice-flavored liqueur)
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 littleneck clams
  • 4 ounces grouper or other firm white fish fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 medium mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 (5-ounce) lobster tail, split in half lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through garlic); cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato, fennel seeds, thyme, tarragon, and saffron; cook 1 minute. Stir in wine and liqueur; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add juices and pepper; bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes. Add clams and grouper; cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until clams begin to open. Add mussels, shrimp, and lobster; cook 4 minutes or until mussels open. Discard any unopened clams or mussels. Garnish with parsley.

Wine note: In the south of France, where it originated, bouillabaisse is enjoyed with a wine that's considered obligatory and the perfect match: rosé. Rosé will work throughout this entire menu, from the crab cocktail to the crepes. A still rosé would be fine, but why not heighten the pleasure (and romance) and serve a California sparkling rosé? Gloria Ferrer's nonvintage Brut Rosé is smashing at $35. -Karen MacNeil

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 399
  • Calories from fat: 27%
  • Fat: 11.9g
  • Saturated fat: 2.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.8g
  • Protein: 50.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 18.1g
  • Fiber: 2.4g
  • Cholesterol: 203mg
  • Iron: 9.8mg
  • Sodium: 977mg
  • Calcium: 171mg

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Bistro Bouillabaisse Recipe