Hey, I’ve been thinking it’s about time, to share something a little bit special. Our traditional Greek Fish Stew Recipe. A dish that holds a special place to every Greek person’s heart who happens to love seafood.
There are a few versions available around Greece, but this is the one I like best. Coming from an island, it’s a dish I’ve grown up eating. We’re also one of these families, that really loooves to eat seafood.
When I was younger, I got to a point of being sick of eating fish. I used to come home from school and ask what is there for lunch? Fish stew. For dinner? Fried fish.
And that could go on and on, for days. Until I got to the point, that I stopped asking, stopped complaining and decided to eat and eat until scales grow on my body. Of course, now that I’ve grown up, and good quality and quantity of fish are hard to find, I appreciate it more. So as for the recipe…
What It’s Made Of
The basic ingredients to make this Super-healthy, light and delicious stew, are fish (the more fatty, the better), potatoes, carrots, celery, onions (lots), lemon and lots of olive oil. In a Greek island, this soup can be made with a variety of different fish.
You can either choose one type of fish or mix a few different types together, to make it even more flavorful. Traditionally it was made with whatever fish the fisherman of the family would bring home. There are though, the fish that are considered fish for stewing (Vrastopsara) and fish for the skillet (Tiganopsara). And there are also fish that are best eaten grilled or oven baked like a Seabream.
The idea is that the fish that will be cooked into a stew should contain a good amount of fat (meaning the” Ω-μεγα 3″ Omega 3 healthy fats). Imagine trying to make a chicken stock out of a chicken fillet? Yaks! that would be hospital food (as we say in Greece when something tastes very bland).
So I made this stew using a Mullet Fish. But because it really depends on the area you live and what you can actually find I made a list of fish that make a good stew. It doesn’t really matter if it’s fresh or frozen (although fresh is always the best in every situation) what really matters is for the fish to be a Quality fish and not a very small one or ones.
Great Grandmas Fish Stew Recipe Tips
In every dish, there are always a few tips that can make its flavor jump from a simply delicious, to an utterly divine. These tips are usually learned through many years of practice, or they are passed on to us by previous generations (therefore, through their practice).
So in order for you to make an utterly divine Greek Fish Stew Recipe, I’m going to share with you my great grandmother’s tips.
The first thing she used to say is that if you don’t add plenty of onions to the fish stew, then you have no stew. Just a watery soup. Now she took that really seriously and added tons of onions which in fact made the stew amazing but also made your stomach complaining as well. So I kept the onion quantity on a large scale in this recipe but not in a quantity to make you suffer! 😛
Secondly, there should also be a good amount of olive oil in this stew to make it thick and flavorful. Make sure it will be an extra virgin green and velvety one. Not one that looks like canola oil. If you’re having a hard time finding one, then you can check one of these two:
- 2017 GOLD Medal Winner PJ KABOS Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil | 100% FRESH olive oil born in Ancient Olympia vicinity | Greece
- Iliada Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tin
And thirdly, put these two together along with some water and boil for half an hour before adding anything else. That’s the most important tip because you leave some time for the oil to incorporate with the water. And also for the onions to cook well. In order to have a rich and thick stew, without the olive oil floating on top.
And this is how I intended to share this recipe in the first place. But after a lot of thought, I decided to proceed with a more appealing fish. This poor guy that we call “Koukos” in Greece is really ugly but ridiculously tasty. Not to mention he is so fatty that makes an excellent stew. So, that’s all by me. No more ugly fish pics for today… Happy Cooking!
Greek Fish Stew Recipe
- 2 litters water
- 300 ml olive oil
- 200 grams onions chopped
- 200 grams carrots sliced
- 100 grams cellery chopped
- 800 grams potatoes cut quarters
- 1000-1200 grams fresh or frozen fish choose from table on text above
- 2 lemons juiced
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- If it's not already clean, remove the fish scales (using either a fork, knife or fish scaler) and rinse well under cold water (the belly and neck tend to have the most scales).
- Once the fish are thoroughly cleaned, cut each one into 2-3 parts (about 150 grams each part). Season the fish with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized pot, add the water, olive oil, and onions. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and boil for 30 minutes.
- Add the carrots and celery and simmer for another 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the potatoes and cook them until they feel soft when you prick them.
- Lay the fish parts on top of the potatoes. Bring the heat to medium-high and with the lid half covering the pot, cook the fish for about 15-20 minutes. Do not attempt to flip it because you'll probably destroy it.
- Remove from heat and pour the fresh lemon juice on top. Shake the pot for the juice to spread evenly and you are ready to serve!