Cioppino is a fish stew that originated in San Francisco, California. Traditionally, it's made from the catch of the day - some combination of Dungeness crab, mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid and fish combined with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Servings: 6
Author: Crowded Kitchen


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lg fennel bulb thinly sliced
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 3 large shallots chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 5 cups Crowded Kitchen Classic Fish Stock
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 lb mussels scrubbed, debearded
  • 1 lb manila clams scrubbed
  • 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 lb firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, assorted cut into 2" chunks
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots and salt. Sauté until the onion is translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté until fragrant - about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes (with juice), wine, fish stock, bay leaf and stir. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the clams and mussels to the pot. Cover and cook until they begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the fish and shrimp, and simmer gently until they are just cooked through and the clams are completely open. Cook about 5 minutes longer, stirring gently and discard any clams and mussels that don't open. Season to taste with more salt, fresh black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with a crusty sourdough bread.


Cioppino was developed in the late 1800s by Italian immigrants who fished off Meiggs Wharf and lived in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, many from the port city of Genoa. When a fisherman came back empty handed, they would walk around with a pot to the other fishermen asking them to chip in whatever they could. What ever ended up in the pot became their Cioppino. The fishermen that chipped in expected the same treatment if they came back empty handed in the future. It later became a staple as Italian restaurants proliferated in San Francisco.