Fish stew

Serve Jun Tanaka's stew with lots of crusty bread to mop up the saffron-flavoured juices
Fish stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • olive oil, for frying
  • 0.5 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 0.5 bulb fennel, diced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • pinches cayenne pepper
  • pinches saffron
  • small amount of Pernod
  • small amount of white wine
  • 500 ml fish stock
  • 1-2 red mullet fillets, scaled, pin-boned and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 0.5 monkfish tails, bone removed, outer membrane removed, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 plaice fillets, skin removed, flesh cut into chunks
  • 2 handfuls mussels, cleaned and dead ones discarded
  • crusty bread, to serve (optional)


1. Heat a little olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and gently sweat the onion, garlic, carrot and fennel over a medium heat for 2-5 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and turning slightly golden.

2. Add the tomatoes, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a pinch of saffron and a splash of both Pernod and white wine. Allow the alcohol to cook off and the sauce to reduce down. Add the fish stock and leave to cook over a medium heat while you begin to cook the fish.

3. Heat some olive oil in a pan and season the fish with salt and pepper. Pan-fry the fish in a single layer quickly to give one side some colour. The mullet should be cooked skin side down to crisp the skin.

4. Add the mussels to the simmering tomato mixture.

5. Once the fish is slightly golden, add it to the tomato sauce. Mix gently and cook for 4 minutes with the lid on. Once all the fish is opaque and all the mussels are opened, the stew is ready.

6. Serve immediately in warmed bowls.

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