Start the Guide
How to Make My Mom's Cioppino
Hands down my favorite dish from home! My mom makes this every Christmas. Not sure how close it is to traditional Cioppino, as she's altered it through the years, so we'll call it "Seattle style".
First things first, make sure you get the freshest, highest quality ingredients. If you're in Seattle, head down to Pike Place to get the full experience.
Wander through the market until you find (or smell) the seafood.
Order your seafood from the guys in the orange pants. Ask them for recommendations, you want the best ingredients and they'll help you out.
Pickup anything else you need.
Once home, start the chopping: onions, bell peppers, celery, carrots and fennel.
This can be done in advance.
Always heat your stainless pot before adding olive oil & onions. Cook until translucent.
Add garlic & anchovies.
Stir constantly over medium heat so garlic does not burn
Add the rest of the chopped veggies
Add the bay leaves
Add dry white wine
Season with thyme, oregano, fresh basil, fresh parsley and fresh lemon. You can also add fresh ground pepper & sea salt.
Add Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce to taste. My mom doesn't really measure anything, just taste as you go and you'll be fine.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste & clam juice. Mom usually adds vegetable broth for more liquid.
Add clam juice or your own fish stock.
Fresh lemon. Just make sure you don't drop any seeds.
Clean and prepare seafood. The seafood doesn't take very long to cook so simmer sauce for a while and then add seafood 15 minutes prior to serving.
Start with fish then few minutes later add the scallops and shrimp followed by the shellfish.
Only takes around 5 minutes don't overcook or seafood will be tough.
Add more fresh basil & parsley
Cook until shells open, discard any shells that don't open.
One year, mom had to stretch the recipe so she added cheese tortellini. We liked it so much, it's now part of the recipe. If you're cooking with leftovers in mind, only add enough pasta for this meal.
Here's my mom cooking up the Cioppino!
We divided for two pots so we could add in all the pasta and seafood.
Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese.
Make sure you have a garlic crusty bread, essential for dunking. We used Chez Fred's garlic bread guide.
Salt & pepper to taste
Serve with a fine wine and your favorite people!
Success! I will be dreaming about this meal for the next year!
Check out other guides by this author!
I like to go places and learn things.