Cioppino (Seafood Stew)


This iconic San Francisco stew often includes a range of shellfish like Dungeness crab, squid, and mussels, all simmered in a tomato broth spiked with wine.

Total Time:
30 mins

Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco can be touristy, but Bobby Flay goes there to eat "literally boatloads" of cioppino, the famous Italian-American seafood stew that came from that neighborhood. Cioppino is a tomato-based stew that was created in the late 1800s by Italian American fishermen who fished off North Beach of San Francisco. They used whatever seafood was leftover from the day’s catch; it was often shrimp, crab, clams and fish. The seafood is cooked in olive oil with onions, herbs, garlic, and tomatoes. A big slice of sourdough bread - buttered and toasted — is the traditional accompaniment and a nod to another iconic San Francisco food.

Flay's favorite San Francisco spots to enjoy cioppino are Pompei's Grotto, Nick's Lighthouse and Tarantino's. Cioppino is typically made from a variety of seafood depending on what's freshest; Flay's version of the recipe uses generous portions of fresh shrimp, littleneck clams, and snapper. Use canned tomatoes in the stew, or if you have fresh tomatoes in season, they are a great addition to the dish.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 1 cup bottled clam juice

  • 1 cup drained, diced tomatoes (from a 15-ounce can)

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, plus more for serving

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed

  • 3/4 pound skinless snapper fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1/2 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • Sourdough toast, for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add shallot and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add stock, clam juice, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add clams, cover and cook just until most of them open, about 5 minutes. Add snapper and shrimp, cover and simmer until they are cooked through and remaining clams have opened, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer seafood to 4 bowls. Add butter and parsley and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute, swirling pan. Spoon broth over seafood and serve with sourdough toast.

Cioppino (San Francisco Seafood Stew)

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Kelsey Moylan / Prop Styling by Josh Hoggle

Suggested Pairing

A vibrant Italian white with a citrus character, such as one from Sardinia.

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