Cioppino is an Italian American fish stew that gained popularity with migrant fishermen who settled in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco in the late 1800s. Originally prepared on boats while out at sea, this dish is now an elegant staple at Italian restaurants. We make ours with plump shrimp in an aromatic tomato and white wine broth accented with bay leaf and red pepper flakes.
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You Will Need
Prepare the Ingredients
Bring a small pot with 2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Thoroughly rinse produce and pat dry. Coarsely chop parsley, reserving 2 small sprigs for garnish. Mince garlic. Peel and mince onion. Rinse shrimp and pat dry.
Prepare the Stock
Reduce heat of water to a low simmer. Add vegetable base and stir until completely dissolved. Add bay leaf and simmer broth for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Bay leaves add a great floral aroma to soups and stews, but they're totally indigestible. Be sure to discard it before serving.
Prepare the Cioppino
In a medium pot, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. When translucent, add tomatoes (including juice from can), half the parsley, stock (including bay leaf), red pepper flakes (to taste - start with ¼ tsp. if you only like a little heat), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the cioppino simmer on medium heat for 8-10 minutes while you sauté the shrimp.
Sauté the Shrimp
In a medium pan, heat 2 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and add to pan. Sear 2-3 minutes on first side. Flip, add white cooking wine, and cook for an additional minute, or until shrimp are bright pink, firm to the touch, and a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees has been reached. Add shrimp to the cioppino pot and stir together.
Plate the Dish
Remove bay leaf and discard. In a bowl or shallow dish, ladle the cioppino. Ensure there is an equal amount of shrimp in each bowl. Garnish with remaining parsley sprigs.
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