Aromatic Seafood Broth

If you like shellfish stews, you'll love Alex Mackay's inspired version spiked with citrus, star anise and pink peppercorns
By Alex Mackay
Aromatic Seafood Broth
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus marinating time
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 small white onion, finely sliced
  • 1 small leek, white only, finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely sliced
  • 1 small bulb fennel, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 lemon, pared zest only
  • 1 star anise
  • 12 pink peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 500 ml water or fish stock
  • 1 small bunch coriander, leaves picked from the stalks (keep the stalks for the broth)
  • 24 mussels, cleaned and rinsed
  • 24 clams
  • 4 large scallops, cut in half
  • 4 tiger prawns
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, cut into strips
  • 2 plum tomatoes


1. Put all of the vegetables, garlic, lemon and orange zest, star anise and peppercorns in a large shallow pan. Add the olive oil, place over a medium heat, cover and cook for 2 minutes until soft but not coloured.

2. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Pour in the fish stock or water, return to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from the bunch of coriander and slice them. Keep the stalks. When the vegetables have been cooking for 10 minutes, add the coriander stalks, take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.

4. Discard the citrus zest, coriander stalks and star anise. Bring the pan back to a boil, add the mussels and clams, cover and cook over the highest possible heat for about 2 minutes or until the shellfish open.

5. Add the prawns, turn down the heat and poach for 2 minutes. Add the sliced scallops and cook for a further 30 seconds. Toss in the cucumber, diced tomatoes and sliced coriander leaves. Serve straight from the pan.

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