Recipe courtesy of Nicky Marcelin

Island-Style Bouillabaisse

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Active: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provencal fish stew made with rockfish, langoustine and scallops in a fish-saffron broth scented with orange peels. It's one of the most luxurious, comforting dishes out there when done correctly. When thinking about the center dish for this episode, I decided to tap into my upbringing and the summers spent in Gonaives, a department in the Artibonite region of Haiti; it's a sea town with lots of seafood and goods. I wanted to create the same luxurious fish stew but with traditional Caribbean ingredients.





  1. For the epis: Put the the oil, the garlic, cloves, scallions, thyme, habanero, lime juice, onion, parsley, salt and pepper in a blender and puree until it reaches a thick consistency.
  2. For the bouillabaisse: Add 2 tablespoons of the epis to the whole fish and let marinate.
  3. Clean the mussels by soaking in cold water and removing the beard from each mussel. Clean the clams by brushing with a soft brush to remove all the grit and sand. Then let them soak in cold salted water until ready to cook.
  4. Add 1 cup of the oil to a large pot over medium heat and saute the garlic, leeks, onions, turmeric and ginger until soft, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Then add the dried shrimp, shrimp paste, tomato paste, thyme and half of the remaining epis and cook until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Deglaze with half of the wine, the coconut water and fish stock, add the Scotch bonnet chile and simmer on low heat until reduced by thirty percent. Turn off the heat, transfer the contents to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve. Add the stew back to the pot and let simmer on low.
  5. While stew is simmering, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat to grill the whole fish. Place the fish on the grill and cook on one side until golden, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden and cooked through, about 7 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
  6. While the fish is on the grill, in another large pot heat the remaining tablespoon oil over medium heat with the remaining epis and the shallots. Cook until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the clams and deglaze with the remaining wine. Ladle some stew into the pan and cover until the clams are fully cooked and open, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any that don't open.
  7. Add the mussels to the simmering stew and cook until they open, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any that don't open.
  8. Plate the grilled fish on a large platter. Arrange the clams and mussels in the stew around the fish.