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Here's a simple recipe for Portuguese Fish Stew (aka Caldeirada) that can be made with fish or shellfish in a fragrant yet simple, saffron broth, studded with potatoes. Rustic and light, this summer stew can be made in just 30 minutes! Serve with Rice or Crusty Bread!

Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada)

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Fish, Stew
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Portuguese
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Here’s a simple recipe for Portuguese Fish Stew (aka Caldeirada) that can be made with fish or shellfish in a fragrant yet simple, saffron broth, studded with potatoes. Rustic and light, this summer stew can be made in just 30 minutes! Serve with Rice or Crusty Bread!


Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or fish stock, or use half clam juice)
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce ( skip if using fish stock/clam juice)
  • large pinch saffron, crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove (or allspice)- optional see notes
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 tablespoons fresh thyme (lemon thyme is nice)
  • 1 lb potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (yukon, baby red or white) thin skins ok -but peel russets.
  • ——-
  • 1.5 lbs fish fillets- (boneless, skinless) wild cod, haddock, sea bass, salmon (or feel free to mix in or substitute shellfish- clams, mussels, shrimp, etc.) cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

Garnish: Lemon wedges, fresh Italian parsley or cilantro, Crusty Bread, chili flakes


Instructions

In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic, stirring until softened, fragrant and golden, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices. Cook until tomatoes soften, about 4 minutes.

Add the white wine, and simmer until most has evaporated, about 2-3 minutes.

Add stock, fish sauce ( if using chicken broth), saffron, a pinch of ground clove or allspice, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, bay leaves and fresh thyme.  Add potatoes and bring to boil. Cover and simmer on low heat until potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes.

Add fish, bring to a simmer over medium heat, give a gentle stir ( don’t over stir or fish will break apart) and cook fish until it is just cooked through about 3-4 minutes. Turn heat off.

Taste broth. Adjust salt, adding more if necessary.

Garnish with fresh torn Italian parsley leaves, lemon wedges, chili flakes and crusty bread.


Notes

Traditional Portuguese Fish Stew varies from village to village and is typically made with the day’s catch, or the addition of shellfish, or a combo of two types of fish, one oily and one not.  Some varieties include cured chorizo that has been browned which add depth and smokiness (it doesn’t take much).

Feel free to sub fish stock.

The pinch of cloves or allspice is optional – you’ll see these in some Caldeirada recipes but not all. If in doubt leave out. I really liked the allspice– up to you. 😉

Not all saffron is the same. Generally the darker the color, the more flavor. If you are craving the saffron flavor, keep in mind the smoked paprika will mute that somewhat.

Keywords: Portuguese Fish Stew, Caldeirada, Caldeirada Recipe, Fish Stew with saffron, Fish stew with potatoes

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