17 Apr2006


The mercury was soaring and Holy Thursday at the beach was HOT, HOT, HOT! Early mornings were spent at the local seaside market, and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and amount of seafood on offer. Normally, I fret that there is so little for sale during holiday weeks and because times are tougher than ever, merchants just don’t stock up. But the opposite was true and I went a little wild… I bought lots of crabs, squid and lobster then decided to make some cioppino (seafood soup), so I bought fish to make a homemade fish stock… then I got sliced tanguigue, alumahan, matangbaka, tulingan, and on and on… Totally went overboard but that just meant our guests and entire household would be eating well over the next few days…

So, instead of just an intense “Last Supper”, we started with a “Last Lunch” as well. Cioppino is a seafood soup from San Francisco created by Italian immigrants and my version of it is really more seafood with broth rather than the other way around. A nice spicy flavorful tomato based broth with the freshest shellfish and fish you can find at the market. ciop2It is really easy to make, absolutely delicious, admittedly somewhat extravagant if you throw in lots of variety. It can be simply made with just a few brilliant clams and mussels and fish or you can go to the “Versace” end of the spectrum and have lobsters, crabs, etc. I have made this soup in the province several times simply because the selection of seafood was just too good to ignore. So instead of giving you a recipe that is anally measured, I will describe to you a process that should work well every time.

Saute some chopped onion, and garlic in olive oil. Add some chopped red capsicum or sweet bell pepper if you have it. Saute for several minutes over medium heat until nearly browning. ciop3Add some tomato paste and about a cup or so of red wine. Add some chopped chilli peppers to taste (I like it spicy) then a large can of chopped tomatoes and some fresh or dried oregano and basil. Add a splash of wine vinegar. Add several cups of fish broth (I make mine from scratch) or bottled clam juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Boil this down a bit until you have a substantial tasty broth, about 20-30 minutes. To this broth (make more if you want your cioppino soupy or less if you want lots of seafood just “braised” with tomato-ey broth) add cleaned and dismembered crabs, lobsters, fish (tanguigue or firm fleshed fish), clams, mussels, etc. and cover until cooked. Arrange the seafood in large soup bowls and add some broth. If you want to get fancy, make a sauce of some raw garlic, lots of basil, salt and olive oil stuck in a food processor (a pesto of sorts) and drizzle it over your soup. Serve with some grilled country bread brushed with olive oil. This pesto is drizzled on the cioppino as shown in the first photo up above…it was delicious!

It is difficult to describe just how good this soup was… fresh sweet meat of shellfish, ciop4spicy tomato-ey broth, bread and pesto. One of the finest meals I have had this year. There weren’t any good clams or mussels that day at the market but they had everything else so this was a decadent version of the soup without “fillers.” The clams would have added flavorful liquid to the soup and made it even richer tasting… I will leave you with this photo of lobster tail meat freshly extracted from its shell instead of writing more jibberish…



  1. Wilson Cariaga says:

    mmmm. . . I think its even more better than Boulliabaise

    Apr 17, 2006 | 8:51 pm


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  3. JD says:

    Wow, with fresh ingredients and an awesome cook, how can you go wrong…..Marketman, you must host a dinner or lunch party and invite everyone who reads your site…hahhahaa. I have to say, I was drooling and craving for cioppino. Oh yeah, Wilson Cariaga? any relation to an opera singer and voice teacher Marvele Cariaga?

    Apr 17, 2006 | 11:11 pm

  4. ajyoung says:

    I should have made cioppino last sunday for dinner instead of the grilled seafoods. I usually prepare the dishes on sundays for the family since i love to cook and eat as well. Cant wait for weekend to make cioppino! :)

    Apr 18, 2006 | 1:56 am

  5. Wilson Cariaga says:

    JD >>> wow. . . who is Marvele Cariaga, I’m so curious to know her, well I did some Opera and also went to a Conservatory of Music School but I shifted to Culinary, I still sing and I really do miss the stage, now I’m left doing Opera in the kitchen hahaha. . .

    Apr 18, 2006 | 7:30 am

  6. kusinero says:

    Gosh! i can’t wait the lunch break. but it’s 10:20 so almost two hours more. whaaaaaaaaa! i’m hungry MM.

    Apr 18, 2006 | 10:19 am

  7. MM says:

    That looks soooo amazing! By the way, I absolutely adore the banner pix of the mangosteens! Happy belated Easter!

    Apr 18, 2006 | 3:13 pm

  8. mojito_drinker says:

    hi that looks great! how does one make fish broth?

    Apr 18, 2006 | 5:07 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    mojito_drinker, I just put a kilo or so of bisugo or a selection of fish in a pot with water, an onion, tomato or two, some some leek and or parsely and some salt and peppercorns and cover with water and boil for 30-40 minutes and strain. It should smell good but it isn’t as intense as a good chicken or beef broth. MM, it tasted great as well!

    Apr 18, 2006 | 8:30 pm

  10. goodtimer says:

    The pictures made me salivate! Can’t wait to get my hands on pitik and crabs (maybe from dampa?) and some shellfish to cook this recipe for Sunday lunch. I just cooked your penne pasta recipe for dinner and couldn’t resist to polish off 2 bowlfulls before my son joined me. Had bbq beef (short) ribs too but the meat came out tough. I forgot to tell the cook to tenderize the meat first by simmering in its marinade. Is there a better way to cook bbq ribs??

    Apr 18, 2006 | 8:42 pm

  11. goodtimer says:

    Hey, that idea of marketman hosting a lunch or dinner for his readers isn’t so bad. :-)

    Apr 18, 2006 | 8:49 pm

  12. JD says:

    Wilson, that’s funny, I was a student of Marvele for two semesters and decided to leave the opera world to something else, food addiction. What would the world do without JD the opera singer!!hahahha. It seems like you’re my lost twin, I too sing opera in the kitchen, specially when my cooking is not doing well…If Marketman host a lunch or dinner party we both can sing an aria,hahahha.

    Apr 18, 2006 | 11:11 pm

  13. linda says:

    MM,please(on my bended knee)host a lunch or dinner for your readers(even if it’ll take a year to organise – for the benefit of those abroad).

    Apr 19, 2006 | 7:31 am

  14. Bubut says:

    well, i was one of the lucky readers who attended the lunch (1st eyeball) hosted by MM and his wife last year at Galileo Enoteca. Superb!

    Apr 19, 2006 | 10:50 am

  15. Marketman says:

    goodtimer, glad the pasta worked for you. I haven’t made ribs in ages so I will have to research to answer your question. But if I recall correctly, some bbq places in the states boil their ribs before barbecuing… and I HAVE already hosted a lunch last November…it’ll probably be a while before we do another one… :)

    Apr 19, 2006 | 11:10 am

  16. JD says:

    Linda, I’m there with you. Marketman, we only say these things because all of your food subjects has been fabulous and I continue to drool just thinking about it. Hahahaa

    Apr 19, 2006 | 11:30 am


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