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Wild Bouillabaisse

Yield 12 cups
Larc prepares his Wild Bouillabaisse with foraged mudminnows, ladyfish, pinfish, small mullet, fiddler crabs, blue crabs, and clams. We adapted his recipe to include seafood ingredients that are more readily available.


  • 2 pounds fish bones and heads
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 4 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 wax-myrtle leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod or anise-flavored liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 crabs, cooked or alive
  • 1 pound fresh catfish fillets
  • 1/2 cup hearts of palm, chopped
  • 1 cattail stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 ear fresh corn, cut from cob
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 fish bouillon cube (optional)
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup samphire
  • 1/2 cup chopped sea rocket
  • 24 small clams, scrubbed
  • Garnish: Crab claws, samphire, sea rocket

How to Make It

  1. Rinse fish bones and heads; remove gills.

  2. In a large stockpot, combine fish bones and heads with tomato juice through crabs. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until stock is reduced by one-third. Strain mixture. Discard fish bones and heads, reserving stock and crab claws.

  3. Cut catfish fillets into 1-inch cubes.

  4. Combine reserved stock, catfish, and hearts of palm through sea rocket in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add clams and cook 5 minutes or until clams open. Top with crab claws, samphire, and sea rocket.

  5. Note: Four bay leaves may be substituted for 14 wax-myrtle leaves. One large leek maybe substituted for one large cattail stalk. Spinach or arugula may be substituted for sea rocket.