November 7, 2023

Provençal Fish Stew

Recipe: Eric Ripert

“With its origins in Marseille and the surrounding region, this dish is inspired by a classic bouillabaisse. Fishermen have a great talent for creating delicious, hearty meals with their leftover catch, and this stew is no exception.

Pay special attention to the thicknesses of the various fish and add them to the broth in the according order—the thick- er the fish, the more cooking time it needs. For a fresh anise flavor and to tip your hat to a true bouillabaisse, add another splash of Pernod right before serving.” – Eric Ripert


  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium leeks, white parts only, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and roughly chopped (if your fennel includes fronds, reserve for garnish)
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Pernod
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 8 oz. skin-on black bass fillet, cut into 4 pieces
  • 8 oz. striped bass fillet, skinned, cut into 4 pieces
  • 8 oz. halibut fillet, skinned, cut into 4 pieces
  • 8 oz. snapper fillet, skinned, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 jumbo shrimp (21/25 count), peeled and deveined


Yield: Serves 4

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, leeks, fennel, and saffron. Cook until the vegetables start to turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add the Pernod and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for an additional 2 minutes. Add 6 cups water and season with sea salt and white pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes to infuse the flavors and then reduce the liquid slightly. Strain the broth into a large sauté pan and discard the vegetables. Set on the stove and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the potatoes with water to cover by 1 inch. Season with sea salt and white pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully peel them. Halve the potatoes, then cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges. Set aside.
  4. To serve, bring the broth back to a simmer. Season all the fish with sea salt and white pepper, then gently warm the fillets in the broth for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and potatoes and cook until a metal skewer inserted into the thickest part of the fish for 5 seconds feels warm when touched to your wrist, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  5. Divide the fish, shrimp, and potatoes evenly among four soup bowls and pour hot broth over the top. Garnish with fennel fronds, if using, and serve immediately.

Excerpted from Seafood Simple by Eric Ripert. © 2023 by Eric Ripert. Photographs by Nigel Parry. Published by Appetite, by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved