Hearty Fish Stew

This recipe is a good example of how indecision can drive a creative process.  It all started with a package of white fish slices. I couldn’t make my mind up whether I wanted the fish to be cooked in an Italian style (tomatoes and fennel), Thai style (coconut cream), or Middle Eastern style (lots of spices). I ended up combining all three cuisines into one pot and loving the result of the rich multi-level flavors. Since this is a large dish, it is perfect for a family or when you have a gathering of friends. If you only need half of the servings, cook only 1lb of fish in half of the vegetable stew and freeze the other half (without the fish) for later. When you are ready to eat the other half of the dish, simply thaw and bring the vegetable stew to boil, add 1lb of raw fish, and follow cooking instructions from that point on.

Serves: 8-10
Preparation time: 1 hour


1 large onion - chopped
4 celery stalks - chopped
1 fennel – chopped
1lb frozen/fresh spinach
 Large can diced tomatoes (32oz/900gr)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 can coconut cream (13.5oz/400ml)
2 lb/900gr white fish cut to small pieces*
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp amino liquid/soy sauce
1 tsp turmeric/ curry
3 tsp smoked/sweet paprika
Salt and pepper

Use a very large pot, preferably cast iron, with a lid.

Saut√© onion, celery, and fennel with oil, salt, and pepper for 20 minutes on high heat** with the lid on. Mix vegetables from time to time. 

Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, and coconut cream, spices and soy sauce or amino liquid. Mix and bring to boil. 

Reduce heat to medium. Add spinach, cover with lid, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add fish to the stew and mix so all slices are covered with the stew. Cover with lid and cook for 10 minutes. 

You can serve this dish with a slice of bread***, rice, pasta, or roasted spaghetti squash.

*I used 2 packages of frozen Alaskan Cod Pieces from Trader Joe’s which I thawed before cooking.
**If you use a pot made from a thin material, you might want to reduce the heat to medium.
***See Easy Focaccia Bread recipe for a gluten/grain free option.