Spanish Shellfish Stew

Enjoy this classic summer dish combining mussels and clams in a chilli-laced sherry sauce
By Silvana Franco
Spanish Shellfish Stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2 as a main course, 4 as a starter
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 500 g live English mussels
  • 500 g clams
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 75 g thinly sliced serrano ham, cut into thin strips
  • 150 ml amontillado sherry, plus extra to serve
  • crusty bread, to serve


1. Clean the mussels by scrubbing them under cold running water; then remove the gritty beards. If any mussels are opened, tap them sharply with a knife. If they don't close, discard them.

2. Scrub the clams with a stiff brush to remove any sand or dirt and then wash them in plenty of cold water.

3. Heat the oil in a large lidded pan and fry the shallot, garlic and chilli for a couple of minutes. Add the ham, some freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and the sherry. Simmer for a minute more.

4. Add the clams and cook for 2 minutes; then add the mussels, cover and cook for 5 minutes until all the shells have opened.

5. Ladle the broth and shellfish into deep bowls, discarding any mussels or clams that dont open. Serve swiftly with crusty bread and more sherry.

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