This is my Southeast Asian version of the famous French bouillabaisse. After returning from Seattle’s Pike Place Market one day with a basketful of fresh seafood – clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, grouper, and halibut, I didn’t have the heart to freeze any of it.
Instead, I combined three quintessentially Southeast Asian basics – spices, coconut milk, and curry leaves with the seafood, transforming the bouillabaisse into an aromatic, delicate, and sensational dish. This dish is best served with bread or angle hair paste for a Mediterranean Asian twist.
Photo and recipe courtesy of Chef Christina Arokiasamy.
- 4 to 6 dried chillies, or to taste, cut into small pieces
- 1tsp coriander seeds
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- 6 black peppercorns, whole
- 4tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 2tbsps sweet soy sauce
- 1teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- Seafood Bouillabaisse
- 227g shrimps, peeled and deveined
- 227g scallops, cut into half
- 227g clams
- 227g mussels, scrubbed and bearded
- 227g Salmon fillet
- 5tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
- 1/2medium medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1cup coconut cream
- 1/2tsp ground turmeric
- 1tsp unsalted butter
- 1tsp salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Soak dried chillies in 1/2 cup of boiling water until soft.
- Place the chillies (discard the water), coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, ginger garlic paste, sweet soy sauce, and vinegar in a food processor. Cover and blend into a coarse paste. Set the paste aside.
- Heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the curry leaves and onions, and cook, stirring until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the blended paste and cook until aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes. The paste is cooked when the oils separated on the surface and is reddish brown colour.
- Add the coconut cream, 1 cup of water, and turmeric and bring to a boil. Raise the heat to medium, and add the seafood. Cover and simmer until the mussels open, about 3 to 4 minutes. Discard any mussels that are closed.
- Add the butter and salt and mix well. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately.