Cioppino with Barramundi (Video!)

Cioppino with Barramundi

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: stew
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


Cioppino is a classic San Francisco seafood stew that’s a lot easier to make than you might think. Warm, cozy, and perfect with a hunk of sourdough and a glass of wine. 



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fennel
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • pinch red chili flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (substitute 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano (substitute 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 25 littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1/2 lb mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 lb 16-20 count shrimp, shell on
  • 1/2 lb king crab legs, cracked and broken into large pieces
  • 1/2 lb barramundi fillets, cut into large pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
  • crusty bread, for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, chili flakes, bay leaf, thyme, and oregano, then sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until incorporated, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Go easy on the seasoning for now, as the seafood will add a significant of salt.
  2. Add the white wine and clam juice, then bring up to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and break them up a bit with a wooden spoon. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and add the mussels and clams. Stir them around to coat with the broth, then cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. When they just begin to open, add the shrimp and king crab and toss around to coat, then lay the barramundi fillets on top. Season the barramundi with salt and pepper, then cover and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the shrimp and barramundi are opaque throughout.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter until incorporated. Taste the broth and add more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with lots of crusty bread on the side for dipping.

Keywords: san francisco, soup, stew, seafood