Chilean Shellfish Stew

Here is a typical kind of seafood stew you find in Chile, which has wonderful fish and seafood caught along its long shoreline. Chileans would thicken it with breadcrumbs to extend it but I prefer it without. Serve with a kale salad.

Servings: 4


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 cup diced smoked dry chorizo sausage
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup drained canned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads soaked in 1 tbsp warm water
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 cup fish or chicken stock
  • 12 oz (375 g) clams
  • 12 oz (375 g) mussels
  • 8 oz (250 g) scallops
  • 8 oz (250 g) large shrimp, shelled
  • 1 cooked lobster, shelled
  • 8 oz (250 g) squid cut in thin rings
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley


Heat oil in a large pot or a deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions, leeks, red peppers and chorizo and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic and jalapeno and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, paprika and saffron and its water. Add wine and bring to boil until almost evaporated. Add stock, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened and flavourful.

Add clams and boil for 3 minutes. Add mussels and continue to boil until clams and mussels open. Remove them as they open. Discard any that do not.

Reduce to low and add scallops, shrimps and cooked lobster meat. Cook until scallops are just becoming opaque and shrimps are pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add squid and cook another 2 minutes or until opaque and all seafood is cooked. Return mussels and clams when other seafood is ready, to just reheat.

Sprinkle with parsley before serving and garnish with a lobster shell. Salt and pepper to taste.