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Crab, prawn and fennel stew with rouille

Think of this as a simpler version of bouillabaisse with all the flavour, but less work. Use a mixture of seafood if you like, but the real flavour comes from toasting the crab shells in the oil.

You'll need

2 tbsp olive oil 6 blue swimmer crabs, cleaned, halved, claws cracked 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced ½ white onion, thinly sliced Large pinch of saffron threads 2 tsp tomato paste 100 ml Pernod 200 ml dry white wine 500 ml (2 cups) fish or crab stock 6 king prawns, unpeeled   Rouille 1 red capsicum 2 tsp olive oil 1 large kipfler potato (120gm), scrubbed 1 boiled egg, white discarded 1 large garlic clove 2 tbsp white wine vinegar Pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 1 tbsp boiling water 300 ml olive oil


  • 01
  • For rouille, preheat oven to 200C. Toss capsicum in olive oil and roast until tender (20-25 minutes). Transfer to a heatproof bowl,cover with plastic wrap and stand to steam and soften (20-25 minutes). Meanwhile, place potato in a saucepan, cover completely with cold water, bring to the boil over high heat and boil until tender (15-20 minutes). Drain and cool. Peel capsicum and potato, coarsely chop, and transfer to a blender along with yolk, garlic, vinegar and saffron and its water. Blend to combine, then, with motor running, gradually add olive oil in a thin steady stream until thick and emulsified. Season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in an extra-large wide saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add crabs and stir until they start to roast in the oil and turn red (2-4 minutes). Remove from the pan. Add fennel, onion and saffron threads and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened (8-10 minutes). Add tomato paste and stir until the colour deepens (1 minute). Deglaze pan with Pernod and simmer until almost evaporated (1-2 minutes), then add wine and reduce by half (2-3 minutes). Add fish stock, return crabs to pan, cover with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until crabs are cooked through, adding prawns during the last 8 minutes of cooking (10-15 minutes). Remove crabs from pan and strain vegetables and stock, reserving both. Return stock to pan and reduce over high heat until well flavoured (8-12 minutes). Season to taste, return crab and vegetables to pan, and serve with rouille and crusty bread.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Pale, dry rosé.

Featured in

April 2016

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