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This Portuguese fish stew, the equivalent of France's bouillabaisse, takes its name from the large saucepan (caldeirão) it's traditionally cooked in. Ingredients vary between regions; some feature a mix of oily and firm white fish, others add shellfish and cephalopods. There's a vegetable base, spicy notes from paprika, cloves, allspice or piri piri and it's served with crusty bread or toast.

You'll need

80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil 2 onions, coarsely chopped 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes 2 fresh bay leaves ½ cup 3cm-long flat-leaf parsley stalks 10 black peppercorns 2 large tomatoes, coarsely grated 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp sweet paprika 500 ml (2 cups) white wine 1 kg small squid, cleaned, tentacles left whole and bodies scored diagonally, then cut into 5cm pieces 500 gm vongole (clams), soaked in cold water for 20 minutes and drained 450 gm whiting fillets 4 (about 400gm) silver bream, cleaned, heads discarded and cut into cutlets 500 gm piece blue eye trevalla, cut into 5cm chunks ½ cup finely chopped coriander To serve: crusty bread


  • 01
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and sauté onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add potato, bay leaves, parsley stalks, peppercorns, tomato, tomato paste, paprika, wine and 2 cups of water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add squid and vongole, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Layer fish on top, cover and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes or until fish is tender.
  • 02
  • Carefully stir mixture, scatter with coriander, then ladle into soup bowls and serve with crusty bread.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Dec 2006

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