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San Francisco Style Cioppino

Recipe Note: “Cioppino” is a type of fish stew strongly associated with the city of San Francisco. The recipe originated there at the end of the 1800’s. It was developed by the many Italian and Portuguese fishermen who settled in the area. The word “cioppino” comes from ciuppin, which means “chop”, or “to chop up” in the Ligurian dialect of Italian.


  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 1 white onion, medium, diced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz. fennel or green celery, finely diced
  • 16 oz. tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 oz. tomato purée
  • 8 oz. red wine, or white if desired
  • 8 oz. clam juice or mild fish stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 ½ lb. fresh clams (or 12 oz. canned)
  • 8 oz. white fish fillets, such as halibut or cod, diced


  1. Heat the olive oil and sear the onions, garlic, and fennel, without coloring them, for 6 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped tomato and tomato purée, bay leaves, and herbs. Bring to a slow simmer and let cook at least 5 minutes. Add the wine.
  3. Add the clam juice and season with salt and pepper. If a spicier sauce is desired, Tabasco sauce or chile flakes may be added. This dish can be done ahead of time to this point.
  4. To serve the cioppino, add the clams to the sauce and cook, covered, for 6 to 7 minutes until they open. In the last 2 to 3 minutes add the white fish (or canned clams).
  5. Serve with grilled herb-flavored sourdough bread.

Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: ~1 ½ cups
Source: Culinary Institute of America

Cioppino Label


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