16 Dec2008


When I wake up the early morning, it’s like turning on a switch, the light is either “off” or “on”. The primary exception being really cold wintery mornings, preferably with snow outside where the prospect of sitting on a really cold toilet seat is enough to keep me bundled up in a down comforter. But in the tropics, and especially at the beach, I am up at the crack of dawn, often raring to go to the nearest seaside market. A week or so ago, just as I was leaving for the market, Mrs. MM groggily spoke up and said, “I feel like having cioppino for lunch…” almost as though talking in her sleep…


I managed to find some nice crabs, shrimp and squid at the market (no shellfish as I don’t trust shellfish from Batangas/Cavite) and some bisugo for the fish stock. I have posted a recipe for cioppino a la Marketman before, and this was going to be a slightly pared down version as I had no lobster, shellfish, etc., but this one had the brilliant addition of some large chunks of homemade bacon. Not sure what makes bacon and shellfish such a great match, but it works every time…


After sauteeing the onions, garlic, bacon, tomatoes, wine, fish stock, seasonings, etc., the shellfish was added, herbs added and the bowls of soup were served up for all to dig in with their hands… it was superb. Totally fresh seafood, a nice spicy and salty tomatoey sauce. Sweet crab meat and prawns. Bread on the side. Yum, yum, yum.


The dish was so good, in fact, that we decided to serve it as a first course for one of our holiday dinners this year… But instead of the rustic presentation above, we are going to peel the crab, shrimps, etc. ahead of time, present them in a soup bowl, and ladle some of the hot chunky soup on top of the seafood… It won’t have the fun of the beach-side version, but it will be easier on folks sitting down to dinner with proper napkins, cutlery, tablecloths and stemware… The best of both worlds, I hope. :)



  1. GJN says:

    Hello, MM,
    Would it greatly alter the flavor if we omit the bacon?

    Dec 16, 2008 | 10:57 am


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  3. RoBStaR says:

    omit the bacon? that’s some crazy talk..

    Dec 16, 2008 | 11:53 am

  4. miles says:

    sounds like an italian version of the bouillabaise…..

    Dec 16, 2008 | 12:08 pm

  5. ragamuffin girl says:

    what’s a girl to do to get an invite to one of your dinners?:)
    now i’m craving and want to make myself some cioppino as well.
    i don’t know why seafood and bacon go so well… the saltiness/smokiness adding depth to an otherwise simple and bland ingredient? scallops wrapped in bacon, prawn and bacon skewers, clam chowder with bacon…

    Dec 16, 2008 | 12:14 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    GJN, the original recipe has no bacon, I just added it to this one to experiment. You can do it without the bacon…

    Dec 16, 2008 | 1:47 pm

  7. mdg says:

    i believe a lot of our shellfish are coming from batangas and cavite, just wondering why don’t you trust the produce from the there?

    the cioppino with bacon seems interesting!

    Dec 16, 2008 | 1:56 pm

  8. traci says:

    bacon is the rightful base for many a chowder, seafood or not!

    Dec 16, 2008 | 3:32 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    mdg, I try to buy clams from the south or palawan, presumably from cleaner waters. Shellfish are bottom dwellers and generally eat a lot of “waste water.” With several open canals and rivers emptying out into Manila Bay, probably carrying tons and tons of untreated waste matter and getting stuck in a bay with a relatively small opening, I would NOT eat an oyster or clam or mussel from Cavite or Batangas. If you ask the vendors at the Seaside market for shellfish, they will never openly admit to sourcing in Cavite, rather they will “claim” and hopefully truthfully, that their clams and mussels are from Calatagan (still Batangas but further from Manila waters, or parts of Quezon and Bicol. For the past couple of years, I have purchased FROZEN New Zealand mussels on a half shell, and have NEVER had a problem with them, although they tend to be too big, and frozen isn’t ideal…

    Dec 16, 2008 | 3:36 pm

  10. mdg says:

    i got…tnx mm

    Dec 16, 2008 | 4:50 pm

  11. Katrina says:

    Bacon or sausage (chorizo!) with crustaceans is a perfect match! I think it’s the salty and sweet complementing each other. For the same reason those meats also play well with fruits. Gosh, that first photo is making me drool!

    Dec 16, 2008 | 5:43 pm

  12. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Mmm..great dish! Seafoods…my fave!! Wish I was invited to that dinner….ummmm..With lobster…super..

    Dec 16, 2008 | 7:38 pm

  13. maria says:

    this looks deelish! i personally like the small squid

    Dec 16, 2008 | 10:54 pm

  14. tnm says:

    What a coincidence…was just thinking of making cioppino for our New Year’s Eve dinner. Thanks, MM, for posting.

    A question for MM fans in San Francisco: where can I have good cioppino there? Also, please suggest a good and kid friendly dimsum place in Chinatown. Already looked a the Chowhound forums but still want feedback from this group. Thanks!

    Dec 17, 2008 | 2:16 am

  15. jdawgg says:

    Hello Marketman,

    Great idea adding the bacon and i bet it tasted good. By looking at the picture I could almost taste it. Thank you for sharing.

    For tnm’s inquiry perhaps I could throw my 10 cents in, try the Fisherman Wharf or the North Beach area for Cioppino , as far as “Dim Sum” goes I’m not fun of the ones in SF Chinatown, we tend to down the peninsula. Try Hong Kong Flower lounge in Millbrae, CA corner of Broadway & El Camino Real also within two blocks away is Fuk Yuen Chinese Cuisine another great one is in Daly City, CA 10 minutes away from SF, it’s called Koi Palace where you would find live and fresh seafood as soon as you enter the facility you would be greeted with an Australian king crab it’s so big it will cover the hood of your car.

    Dec 17, 2008 | 3:59 am

  16. tercer says:

    the best cioppino i know of (even compared to restos in italy) is the dish served at scott’s seafood, a small california chain. and their lobster bisque is bliss! tnm, you are in luck as there are two in your area. here is the link. http://www.scottsseafood.com/

    Dec 17, 2008 | 4:03 am

  17. Lava Bien says:


    North Beach area will give you plenty of Italian restos in SF.

    try the above link.

    Good place to hang-out, in SF you’d find almost anything there.

    Dec 17, 2008 | 5:32 am

  18. Good Life says:

    Cioppino for me is without bacon. I would saute different kinds of fish and bones with the spices that MM mentioned than
    strain it to get a clean finish look. Then add all your seafood ingredients.Of course sourdough bread to complement the entire meal.

    Dec 17, 2008 | 6:21 am

  19. brownedgnat says:

    If you’re ever in Monterey, CA area, Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing (approx 15 miles south of Monterey) serves up an awesome Cioppino complete with salad and garlic bread: http://www.philsfishmarket.com/

    Dec 17, 2008 | 7:04 am

  20. ted says:

    TNM, for ciopino try Alioto’s at fisherman’s wharf in SFO. Also Scott’s seafood like Tercer said. I’ve tried it from both places,,,they are about the same to me. But i would just suggest if you are at Alioto’s to try their ciopino with their Dungeoness Crab Sandwich. You can thank me later.

    Dec 17, 2008 | 8:45 am

  21. ted says:

    TNM, Yank Sing is not in chinatown, but they are at the Rincon Center by Mission and Spear Street. They have great dimsums

    Dec 17, 2008 | 8:50 am

  22. Good Life says:

    Brownedgnat, thanks for the info on Phil’s Market in Moss Landing

    Dec 17, 2008 | 9:10 am

  23. jdawgg says:

    Hey Marketman,

    Jdawgg again, just a note to ted, yo bro Yank Sing is not a true “Dim Sum” place, It’s what we call a “Dim Sum for (Dummies)” just like Chevy’s for Mexican Food pardon my french but that’s where polyester folks go to for “Dim Sum”. Hate is a strong word but “hate that spot”.


    Dec 17, 2008 | 2:41 pm

  24. marissewalangkaparis says:

    BTW MM,I tried your Chicken Inasal ala Marketman yesterday and it was good. Tasted like the inasal I wanted. As usual,I have color issues. It wasn’t as yellowish as I wanted it to be despite the annato-oil and star margarine basting. Will do that again..so I get the right color…hahahaha…
    Wanted the color like the Inasal you have when you go to Bacolod and they have this Inasal row….Hahahaha..but it was delish. Thanks for that recipe again. Sarap!!

    Dec 17, 2008 | 3:38 pm

  25. maricar says:

    hi MM!!!!
    i chanced upon your website a few months back and i got really hooked that i read your posts from 2004 up to this date. sometimes, i really want to comment on other posts but i told myself that i would start to comment when i really get yo read this last post so that i would really feel that i’m “in”. i copied a lot of recipes and i instantly filled my recipe box with a lot of recipes from you and other fellow readers especially that of bettyq.now, i will always have the chance to write as i am now updated with the whole blog. thanks so much MM for all the posts….sometimes i want to go back and read them all over again. i always tell my husband i have to attend your next eyeball so i get my chance to taste your good food and finally meet one of my inspirations in this yummy world……keep the posts coming….

    Dec 17, 2008 | 5:12 pm

  26. tnm says:

    Wanna say thank you for the dimsum and cioppino suggestions, y’all!

    Dec 18, 2008 | 1:43 am

  27. ted says:

    jdawgg, i guess it is a matter of taste with regards to dimsum, and i guess Michelin guide is a dummy for putting Yank Sink in their guide as one of the best in the bay area for 2008. But you have your opinion/suggestions and i have mine. And I’ve been to Koi Palace (don’t like their lobster, overcooked and tough) and Koi Garden (their peking duck is not recommendable), and their dimsums are good too, but for their price, there are other places which serves better. My suggestion also is with regards to tnm asking for kid friendly dimsum places so i did not suggest any in chinatown which for the most part have excellent dimsum places, which you are not fond off. Maybe tnm can go to those places we suggested and he/she can report his/her own judgment ;-)

    Dec 18, 2008 | 4:40 am

  28. kayenne says:

    Made a huge huge pot of this on my last birthday with some pancetta. Leftovers were shelled and some made into a seafood potpie with diced potatoes and puff pastry the day after and the rest were pureed into a bisque of sorts. Yummm…

    Dec 18, 2008 | 7:20 am

  29. jdawgg says:

    Hello Ted,

    got it, hopefully tnm we’ll keep us posted by the time he/she tries those spot we suggested. Anyways, Happy Holidays to everyone:>)


    Dec 18, 2008 | 7:24 am

  30. JE says:

    Is there anything the addition of bacon can NOT improve?

    Dec 18, 2008 | 5:42 pm

  31. Maki says:

    A lil bet of everything..

    Dec 18, 2008 | 6:38 pm

  32. Maki says:


    Dec 18, 2008 | 6:38 pm

  33. Joni says:

    love this dish. :)

    Dec 18, 2008 | 11:21 pm


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