Published on December 23rd, 2020 | by Nikki Karamooz


Saffron Cioppino Stew: It’s What’s for Dinner!

The seafood stew of your dreams, this easy Cioppino stew is comfort food in a bowl! It is loaded with seafood cooked up simply in a saffron, tomato-based broth with a middle eastern twist. It’s easy enough to serve on a weeknight and one you’ll impress with on the weekends. It really is so incredibly delicious! 

Chef Nikki Karamooz


– 1/2 cup olive oil, divided 
– 1 large onion, coarsely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups) 
– 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced 
– 4 cloves garlic, minced 
– 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 
– 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
– 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes 
– 1 dried bay leaf 
– Pinch of saffron 
– 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juice, crushed 
– 1 1/4 cups dry white wine 
– 1 cup bottled clam juice 
– 1 pound cockles or Manila clams, scrubbed well 
– 1 pound mussels, scrubbed well and debearded 
– 1 pound skinless firm white fish fillets, such as halibut, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces 
– 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined 
– Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
– 1/2 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves 
– 3 (2-inch) pieces orange zest, coarsely chopped 
– 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 
– 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed 
– Grilled bread, for serving


Step 1
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a low, wide stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, fennel, and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in thyme, oregano, red-pepper flakes, bay leaf, and saffron.

Step 2 
Add tomatoes and their liquid, wine, clam juice, and 1 1/4 cups water, and bring to a simmer.

Step 3 
Add clams and mussels; cover, simmering until shells open, 3 to 5 minutes. Season fish and shrimp with salt and pepper, and add to the pot. Cover, and simmer until fish is opaque and shrimp turn pink and begin to curl, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 4 
In a small food processor, combine parsley, orange zest, orange juice, capers, and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil; process until smooth.

Step 5 
Remove pot from heat. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve with a dollop of the parsley mixture and the grilled bread.

Bon Appétit !!!

About the Author


is born and raised in beautiful Los Angeles, CA. Her years of experience and knowledge in fine dining restaurants, catering companies, and private homes have been a solid foundation for her growing personal chef business. Growing up in such a diverse culinary environment, L.A.'s cuisine has served as an inspiration for many of Chef Nikki’s menus, fusing middle eastern flavors with a variation of different cuisines. Others describe her cooking as comforting, rich, and unique. She loves to emphasize seasonal, local, and exotic ingredients/products in her dishes, and is attentive to those extra details that make an ordinary meal, and extraordinary one. Her Website is Her Instagram link is @chefniki

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