Vietnamese Bouillabaisse


  • 8 oz. Leeks, sliced
  • 8 oz. Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. Fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 oz. Lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. Garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. Saffron
  • ½ ea. Dried Chili, crushed
  • ⅛ c Pernod
  • ¼ c Tamarind Paste
  • 1 tsp. Shrimp Paste and more, to taste
  • 4 qts. Fish stock, recipe follows
  • 3 ea. Littleneck Clams
  • 3 to 4 ea. Mussels
  • 3 pieces Firm Fish (your choice), cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
  • 3 to 5 ea. Bird’s-Eye Chiles, sliced into rings
  • 2 ea. Shrimp, 16/20, deveined and halved lengthwise
  • 1 ea. Small Roma Tomato, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp. Golden-brown fried shallots
  • 1 ea. Baguette
  • Sprigs of Vietnamese Thai basil and cilantro
  • Rouille, recipe follows
  • Grapeseed oil, as needed
  • Lime juice, as needed
  • Fish sauce, to taste


Heat oil in a Dutch oven and sauté leeks, shallots, fennel, lemongrass, garlic, saffron and dried chile. Add Pernod, tamarind, shrimp paste and fish stock. Bring soup to a boil and adjust seasoning with tamarind paste, shrimp paste, fish sauce and lime juice.

At service, bring soup to a boil, add clams and cook for 3 minutes. Add mussels, fish, chili, and tomato and cook 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook 1 more minute. Garnish with 1 spring basil, 3 sprigs cilantro and fried shallots.

Serve with toasted baguette cut in half on bias and 2 tablespoons rouille in ramekin. Makes 1 serving with leftover stock to make more.

To make fish stock: combine 2 quarts fish stock and simmer with ½ chopped small onion, small knob ginger, 1 stalk lemongrass, 2 Makrut lime leaf and a few black peppercorns, and simmer for 30 minutes.

To make rouille: combine 1 large, crushed garlic clove, ½ roasted and peeled red bell pepper, roasted, 1 egg yolk. 1 teaspoon lemon juice and small pinch of saffron threads in a food processor. With motor on, slowly add 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Chef Lien Lin Bricolage, Brooklyn, New York from Food Fanatics Magazine®