Seafood in Fennel Broth

seafood in fennel broth
Photo: William Abranowicz
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
55 mins

An oven-simmered stew of clams, shrimp, and flaky white fish cooked makes a light, warm-weather dinner. The recipe calls for striped bass but cod, haddock, or snapper also work well.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped (1 ½ cups), plus ⅓ cup fronds for serving (optional)

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (½ cup)

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (1 tablespoon)

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked sweet paprika

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed

  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed

  • ½ cup dry vermouth

  • ½ cup clam stock, such as Bar Harbor

  • 24 small clams, such as littleneck and Manila

  • ¾ pound striped-bass fillet, cut into approximately 1 ½-by-2-inch strips

  • 1 pound large head-on shrimp, or ¾ pound large headless shrimp

  • 1 can (15 ounces) white beans, such as cannellini, drained and rinsed

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Parsley leaves, for serving


  1. Preheat a wood-burning or regular oven to 500 degrees. (If using a regular oven, set rack in lowest position and line with a pizza stone or metal baking sheet.)

  2. In a large ovenproof braiser pan or straight-sided skillet, combine oil, butter, chopped fennel, shallots, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Roast (on pizza stone, if using) until vegetables sizzle and turn golden in places, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in paprika, cumin, and coriander; roast 1 minute more. Add vermouth; roast until reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Add clam stock and clams; cover and roast until clams open, about 5 minutes.

  3. Transfer clams to a bowl, discarding any unopened ones; cover to keep warm. Gently stir fish, shrimp, and beans into pan; continue roasting, stirring once, until fish is just cooked through and shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes more. Remove from oven. Stir in lemon juice, return clams to pan, sprinkle with parsley and fennel fronds, and serve.

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