Robbie’s Inspiration – Recipes from around the world: French bouillabaisse

It’s been a lovely weekend. The winter seems to be behind us and the daily high is 28 to 30 degrees Celsius. The garden is bursting with spring flowers and my mother has been busy planting her purchases from last weekend.

I made Bouillebaisse, a traditional Provençal fish stew from Marseille, France. My mom loves fish dishes, so this was for her. For dad, I made Durban chicken curry.


1.4 kilograms white fish, I used Hake

500 grams Norwegian salmon

500 grams shelled prawns, uncooked

2 medium onions, finely chopped

1/2 a fennel bulb, finely chopped

2 leeks, finely chopped

olive oil for cooking

15ml orange zest

15ml crushed garlic

5 ml turmeric

Black pepper to taste

7.5 ml thyme

1 bay leaf

6 Roma tomatoes or 3 large tomatoes, chopped

2 cups fish stock

2 cups chicken stock


Heat the oil in a large pot. Fry the onion, fennel and leeks for 5 minutes until soft. Add the orange zest, turmeric, thyme, black pepper, and crushed garlic. Add the tomatoes and allow to simmer for 20 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and become mushy.

Boil the kettle and prepare the stock. Lay the fish pieces skin side up over the vegetables. Pour the stock over the fish and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the fish. Add the prawns and allow to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes until pink all over. Meanwhile, remove the skin and break the fish into large chunks. Add the fish back to the pot and the stew is ready to serve with garlic bread. Do not overcook the fish or it will go tough.

79 thoughts on “Robbie’s Inspiration – Recipes from around the world: French bouillabaisse

  1. A great guide to better eating, Robbie! I admit now to know how this dish should be written correctly, and it is based on fish. 😉 I had not known this before, and also never eaten it. Thanks for sharing the recipe, and the guidance for preparation. Congrats to the fabulous weather conditions, and enjoy your week! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael, I do always make modifications to recipes so the original recipes I looked at use mussels and some also have lobster. I don’t like mussels and I couldn’t get lobster. I also used half fish and half chicken stock to tone down the strong fishiness a little.


      1. This story poem is included in Lewis Carol’s book, Through the looking Glass. This sequel, and Alice in Wonderland, both has some very weird parts and ideas. It’s as if he was taking drugs when he wrote them. I felt bad for the poor baby oysters who should have listened to their mama.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I remember being given Through the Looking Glass when I was in third grade. I started reading it, and I hated it so much I threw it across the room. It’s a weirdly vivid memory–maybe because that was the one and only time I threw a book across the room?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That looks delicious, Robbie. I’ve had bouillabaisse before, but never with salmon, (always with mussels, which are not my favorite!). Thanks for sharing this – you’re giving me ideas for the next family dinner 🙂


    1. Hi Sue, thank you. Yes, you will be slipping towards cooler weather now. Our summers are long (it is already hot), at least 8 months of good weather a year and often 9 months. This stew was really good. The best fish dish I’ve had for ages.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that spring is busting out your way, Robbie. Sounds wonderful. As does the bouillabaisse, a dish I’ve never tried to make. The addition of fennel and turmeric appealed to me. They add something different to the flavor versus a plain old fish stew. Thanks for the recipe. Another one to try. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is not a dish I have the opportunity to eat very often, Robbie. I do have it (in a restaurant) when I have the chance. Yours looks and sounds delicious. Although I might have liked to sample the chicken curry as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My mother’s version of this soup is very good as well, Robbie. Your recipe has reminded me that she has not cooked it for a long time. I know what I’m going to suggest next. Thanks for sharing it! Delicioius!

    Liked by 1 person

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