Portuguese Fish Stew

fish stew

Looking for some comfort food action that will boost your immune system and leave you feeling good afterward? This delicious Portuguese fish stew recipe is just what you need. Not only is it healthy, but this traditional fisherman's stew, also known as cataplana, is full of flavor and it's easy to make.

Armed with nothing more than a pot, a spoon, your ingredients, and 30 minutes, you can prepare this hearty, flavorful, and nutritious Portuguese fish stew.

Recipe Video

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id="mxjQtSVd" upload-date="2024-03-12T00:00:00.000Z" name="Portuguese Fish Stew" description="Learn to make Portuguese Fish Stew, a cozy seafood dish. This video guides you through each step, blending spices and fish for a hearty, flavorful meal." player-type="default" override-embed="default"]

Why This Recipe Works

There are many reasons that this cataplana recipe works. To begin with, it is a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with fresh fish and veggies, offering a healthy blend of lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

It's also an incredibly hearty and fulfilling meal that will satisfy even the biggest appetites. Loaded with fish, potatoes, shrimp, peppers, and tomatoes, this one-pot meal features the entire garden and then some.

If those weren't good enough reasons to love this recipe for Portuguese fish stew, it's also super easy to make. You might think a complex and hearty dish like this would take hours of simmering in a pot, but by using a simple layered cooking technique, you can have all elements cooked to perfection in ½ an hour.

Ingredients

Aromatics:

Aromatic ingredients like onions, garlic, cilantro, parsley, and bell peppers are traditionally used in cataplana to build a rich and flavorful base.

Seasonings:

This healthy fish stew recipe typically features traditional Portuguese spices and herbs such as paprika, oregano, cilantro, and cumin. If you want to add any of these to your version of this tasty Portuguese comfort food, start off with ¼ teaspoon and add more as needed.

Tomatoes:

While this recipe calls for canned tomatoes for convenience, you can absolutely use fresh tomatoes as well. Romas work best as they provide a robust and slightly sweet base for your seafood stew.

Potatoes:

Potatoes are a key item for any hearty stew, and for this one, Yukon gold works best. Due to its waxy finish, they hold up well during cooking. This provides a creamy texture without becoming mushy.

Fish Stock:

Fish stock can typically be found in most grocery stores. If you happen to have fish bones or shrimp tails to discard, you may want to make your own fish stock. Simply add them to a pot with a carrot, onion, celery stick, garlic, and bay leaves. Cover everything with water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes and strain the liquid. This homemade fish stock is ideal for enhancing the flavors of your Portuguese fish stew.

White Wine:

White wine helps to balance the flavors, adds acidity, and enhances the overall complexity of the broth. If you prefer a non-alcoholic substitute, use a splash of lemon juice in its place.

Mussels:

Selecting and preparing mussels for your cataplana is one of the most crucial steps. It's important to select fresh mussels with tightly closed shells, discarding any open or cracked ones. This indicates that is it dead and no longer edible. Rinse them thoroughly to remove sand and debris. Gently scrub the shells and debeard the mussels by pulling out any fibrous strands. For an extra layer of flavor, soak them in cold water with a pinch of salt for about 20 minutes. This process encourages the mussels to expel any remaining sand. Once cleaned, add the mussels to your simmering fish stew, allowing their briny essence to infuse the broth with a delightful taste of the sea.

Shrimp:

Much like your mussels, it's important to prepare your shrimp correctly, however there are multiple ways to do this depending on your personal preference. If you are using frozen, then you can buy them however you like; raw, peeled, deveined, and even without the tails, saving you time and effort in the kitchen. However, if you are using fresh shrimp, you'll want to start by peeling and deveining the shrimp. Whether you leave the shells on or take them off is up to you. Rinse them under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. To enhance the seafood's natural sweetness, consider marinating the shrimp briefly in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.

White Fish:

Choose firm and mild-flavored white fish like cod, haddock, or sea bass for your healthy Portuguese fish stew. Cut the fish into chunks, ensuring even cooking. Add it in the last few minutes, allowing it to cook gently until just opaque.

How to Make Portuguese Fish Stew

Step One: 

Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper to the pot to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Step Two: 

Add the garlic and chili flakes and continue to saute until it becomes aromatic - 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Step Three: 

Mix in cilantro, add the bay leaves and white wine, and stir to incorporate.

Step Four:

Once the mixture is simmering, add cherry tomatoes and continue to simmer for 5-7 minutes, mashing them as they cook.

Step Five: 

Stir in potatoes and fish stock, then cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Step Six: 

Gently mix in shrimp, mussels, white fish, salt, and pepper to taste.

Step Seven: 

Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until the shrimp is pink, the mussels are open, and the fish is tender and flakey.

Step Eight: 

Serve with fresh herbs, and enjoy!

Tips

  • Consider adding some sausage to your seafood stew. Traditional Portuguese recipes typically include chouriço or linguica. You can even make your Portuguese Fish stew with chorizo or andouille sausages to add the same richness and smokiness to the stew.
  • Always serve this Mediterranean fish stew with fresh, crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.

What to Serve With Portuguese Fish Stew

Complementing the robust flavors of this easy Portuguese fish stew with the right side dishes will enhance your overall dining experience. Consider serving a crisp garden salad with a zesty lemon vinaigrette to provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and savory stew. You can serve your Portuguese fish stew with rice, quinoa, or couscous to offer a neutral base that allows the fish and aromatic herbs to shine.

FAQs

Can I use frozen seafood for Portuguese fish stew?

You can absolutely use frozen seafood in your Portuguese fish stew. Ensure the seafood is properly thawed before adding it to the stew. Thawing in the refrigerator is preferable, but a quick thaw under cold running water works too.

How long can leftover Portuguese fish stew be kept fresh?

Store leftover Portuguese fish stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can stay fresh for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, consider freezing the stew; it can maintain quality for 2-3 months in the freezer.

Is there a vegetarian or vegan version of Portuguese fish stew?

Yes, you can create a delicious vegetarian or vegan version of Portuguese fish stew by substituting fish and seafood with plant-based alternatives. Use ingredients like tofu, tempeh, or mushrooms to mimic the texture and flavor of fish. Enhance the broth with vegetable stock and consider adding a plant-based chorizo or sausage for extra depth.

More Seafood Recipes

Seafood can be a healthy way to add omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins D and B12, zinc, selenium, and more to your diet. If you are looking to increase your intake, here are some more seafood recipes for you to try.

Instant Pot Fish Stew

Air Fryer Salmon Burger

Shrimp Skewers In Oven

Parmesan Crusted Walleye

fish stew

Portuguese Fish Stew

Discover our hearty and flavorful Portuguese Fish Stew recipe. Cooked with love and simplicity, it makes the perfect comfort food for any occasion.
4.43 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Portuguese
Keyword: fish stew, Portuguese Fish Stew, white fish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Corrie

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 can cherry tomatoes
  • 12 ounces potatoes chopped
  • 2 cups fish stock
  • ½ pound shrimp
  • 1 cup mussels in the shell
  • 1 pound white fish fillets
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper to the pot to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and chili flakes and continue to saute until it becomes aromatic - 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Mix in cilantro, add the bay leaves and white wine, and stir to incorporate.
  • Once the mixture is simmering, add cherry tomatoes and continue to simmer for 5-7 minutes, mashing them as they cook.
  • Stir in potatoes and fish stock, then cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Gently mix in shrimp, mussels, white fish, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until the shrimp is pink, the mussels are open, and the fish is tender and flakey.
  • Serve with fresh herbs, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal Carbohydrates: 15g Protein: 20g Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.01g Cholesterol: 41mg Sodium: 343mg Potassium: 682mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Vitamin A: 683IU Vitamin C: 39mg Calcium: 54mg Iron: 2mg

Video

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id="mxjQtSVd" upload-date="2024-03-12T00:00:00.000Z" name="Portuguese Fish Stew" description="Learn to make Portuguese Fish Stew, a cozy seafood dish. This video guides you through each step, blending spices and fish for a hearty, flavorful meal." player-type="default" override-embed="default"]

Notes

  • Consider adding some sausage to your seafood stew. Traditional Portuguese recipes typically include chouriço or linguica. However, chorizo and andouille will add the same richness and smokiness to the stew.
  • Always serve this Mediterranean fish stew with fresh, crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.
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