Seafood Stew with Spicy Mussel & Saffron Broth

Seafood Stew with Spicy Mussel & Saffron Broth




2 vine-ripened tomatoes, cores removed
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp white sugar
1 tsp Forum cabernet sauvignon vinegar
1 tsp chopped tarragon
1 tsp chopped thyme


1 Tb coriander seeds, toasted
1 Tb fennel seeds, toasted
1 Tb white peppercorns, toasted
½ carrot, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
½ large fennel bulb, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 red birdseye chillies, chopped
3 kaffir lime leaves, very finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, inner part chopped
45g (1 2/3 oz) knob of galangal, chopped
70ml (2 ¼ fl oz) vegetable oil


200g (7 oz) baby octopus
1x400g (14 oz) mussels, scrubbed
800g (1 lb 12 oz) mussels, scrubbed & beards removed
2 Tb white wine
¼ tsp saffron threads
70 ml (2 ¼ fl oz) vegetable oil
1 kg (4 lb 8 oz) snapper bones, cut into 5 pieces
1 tomato, diced
2 Tb tomato jam
3 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) white chicken stock or water
4x100 g (3 ½ oz) snapper fillets
250g (9 oz) clams (vongole), purged
8 raw (green) king prawns (shrimp), peeled & deveined
40g (1 ½ oz) unsalted butter
60g (2 ¼ oz ¼ cup) crème fraiche
Aioli & croutons, to serve



Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF/Gas 4). Coat the tomatoes in olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast until they collapse and the juices release. Cool and then peel off their skins.

Place the tomatoes in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the herbs and season to taste.


Finely grind the coriander, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a mortar using a pestle or in a spice grinder. Transfer to a blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend until a smooth paste forms.


Clean the octopus and calamari. Score and cut the calamari into 8 pieces. Place the mussels and wine in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally until the mussels have opened. Strain through a sieve placed over a bowl. Add the saffron to the hot strained liquid and set aside. Remove the mussels from their shells and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the paste and cook for about 20 minutes or until fragrant and split.

Add the snapper bones, tomato, tomato jam, lime leaves and mussel meat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the saffron liquid and stock then bring to a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Pass through a potato ricer or food mill then pass through a sieve, pushing down on the puree until dry.

Transfer the soup to a large wide-based saucepan over low heat. Add the snapper, fillets, calamari, octopus, clams, prawns and roasted tomato sauce, bring to a very gentle simmer and cook until the seafood is cooked and the clams have opened.

Remove the seafood, using a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid in the pan, and divide among warmed serving bowls.

Add the butter and crème fraiche to the pan, whisk to combine, then ladle over the seafood. Serve with the aioli and croutons.

Find more delicious recipes by Neil Perry in “Rockpool Bar & Grill”

Note from Neil: “The spicy intensive flavour of the broth paired with seafood makes it a winning combination.”

Recipe provided by Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne

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