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Cioppino - San Francisco's Famous Seafood Stew

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (9 Reviews)


Summer cioppino
Thomas Barwick/Stone/Getty Images
Italian fishermen developed this Ciopinno recipe in the mid 1800's. There are two versions of where the name "Ciopinno" came from. Most believe it's based on an Italian soup called "ciuppin."

A more colorful version is that the fisherman used to gather after the day's work was done and all throw different pieces of fish and seafood into a communal pot for supper. They would call out to each other in broken English "chip in," "hey you, chip in," and this was the actual root for the word Ciopinno.

While not as likely a story, it is certainly more interesting, so I'm going with the second version.

Makes 6 large portions

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28-oz)
  • 2 cups clam juice or fish stock
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Dungeness crab (about 2-lbs), cracked and cleaned, or 1-lb frozen crabmeat thawed
  • 2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 1-in slices
  • 24 large prawns, peeled and de-veined
  • 12 mussels
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped


  1. In a large pot, on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the celery and onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and fresh parsley. Simmer on low, uncovered, for one hour. Add a splash of water if the sauce gets to thick. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
  2. Add the crab, shrimp, and halibut, and simmer covered another five minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mussels open. Turn off the heat, and stir in the Italian parsley.
Ladle the Ciopinno into large bowls and serve with lots of sourdough bread and red wine.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
cioppino, Member ob11knobbe

this is an easy recipe but really really delicious! i served this for christmas eve dinner and it was the rave of the party!

15 out of 16 people found this helpful.

See all 9 reviews

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