Recipe for Bouillabaisse

Fruits de mer

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By André Del Monte, Chef at the Maurin des Maures

The secret to success with bouillabaisse lies with three principles that must be respected: they are called quality, simplicity and cooking. The quality comes from the freshness of the fish and the spices that will be added, especially the saffron which will be sprinkled on, not just as a colouring. Simplicity: bouillabaisse is a rustic dish. Our elders will tell you that fishermen made it from unsold fish: capon, scorpion fish, John Dory, weever fish, gurnard, cuttlefish, moray or conger eel - They would say: we’re going to “boil” it up. As it starts to boil, lower the heat and when the potatoes are ready (around 15’), the bouille (boiled) baissée (reduced) mixture is ready to taste – hence the name. It’s a real fetish this dish !

Ingredients for the real bouillabaisse

2 capons gutted and descaled (800g)

2 John Dory gutted and descaled (800g)

4 gurnards gutted and descaled (300g)

6 scorpion fish gutted and descaled (150g)

4 weever fish gutted and descaled (300g)

2 wrasse gutted and descaled (600g)

8 chunks of conger or moray eel

1 kg of cuttlefish


“I prepare the stock (bouillon) separately so as not to drown out the different flavours.

I add small rock lobsters or little crabs, and on special occasions - a big lobster.

I peel and cut the potatoes into quarters; peel and slice the onions thinly; and peel the garlic having taken off the shoots, and crush them with a fork.

I scald the onions to make them easier to peel and cut them into quarters.

Then I clean, dry and cut the cuttlefish into slices.

I take a large stockpot, like you would use for couscous, put in the potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cuttlefish slices, conger or moral eel chunks, 25g of salt, 25g of pepper and 15g of saffron.

I add 10cl of olive and mix it in vigorously. On top of that I place the fish in the following order: capons, John Dory, scorpion fish, weevers, gurnards then the wrasse.

I finish with crabs and mussels, then add the rest of the olive oil and the saffron

I leave it for two hours, enough time for the ingredients to soak up the saffron and oil.

We serve it in a long piece of cork oak bark called a faouque or couasse and it is always causes a stir when we serve it up.“

Recette de la Bouillabaisse