Seafood Hot Pot

Seafood Hot Pot
Fisherman used to make this stew based on the day’s catch. Yours doesn’t have to be so unpredictable.
By Chef Bryan Caswell
seafood hot pot Photo credit: Jamie Chung

This is a melting pot of classic fisherman’s stews: cioppino, bouillabaisse, gumbo, jambalaya, and paella — all opportunistic dishes born from the unpredictability of the day’s catch. My whole life I’ve fished in camp houses up and down the Gulf Coast, and every day our focus is to catch that night’s dinner. A dish like this works well no matter what fish you get — in the wild or at your seafood market. It’s a one-pot dish that works year-round.
The Base


6 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 lb fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick medaillons

Mix 1:

1/2 head celery, minced
1 medium onion, minced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 Thai (red) chiles, minced

Mix 2:

1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp coarse salt

Mix 3:

1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup carrot juice

Mix 4:

14.5-oz can whole tomatoes drained of juices
4 cups clam juice
2 cups chicken stock
large bunch thyme, tied with kitchen twine


In a large pot over medium heat, melt 4 tbsp butter until foamy. Stir in mixes 1 and 2, cooking until vegetables are translucent with slightly browned edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Halfway through the cooking process, add remaining 2 tbsp butter.

Lower heat and stir in tomato paste. Mix well and cook until paste begins to brown (not burn), about 5 minutes. Add mix 3 and stir to loosen browned bits stuck to bottom of pot. Simmer to reduce by half, about 6 minutes. Stir in mix 4, plus potatoes, and raise heat to bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Turn off heat and cover.
The Seafood


Coarse salt
Cayenne pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
8 clams in shells, scrubbed
8 mussels in shells, scrubbed and debearded
8 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 large sea scallops
8 oz (skinless) snapper
or other white fish
4 shallots, minced
1 cup dry vermouth


Season the seafood with salt and cayenne. In a jumbo pasta pot or dutch oven (wide cooking surface, high sides), warm the olive oil. Add clams and mussels, sautéing about 11/2 minutes.

Add shrimp, scallops, fish, and shallots, cooking until opaque on one side, about 1 minute. (Don’t flip.) Add vermouth, cover, and let the mixture steam until seafood is cooked through, 90 seconds or so.

Add hot base and bring to low boil, simmering 11/2 minutes. Remove thyme and discard. Serves 4.


Seafood Hot Pot

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