Nohu Bouillabaisse

Island-Influenced Nohu Bouillabaisse


This traditional French bouillabaise had an Asian flavor, with its hints of lemongrass and shiso. This dish is easy to prepare, despite the many ingredients. It is well worth the time and effort.


  • 4-5 chunks nohu (2 oz each, about 2×2 inches, from two 3 to 4 lb whole fish)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups clam juice (may substitute Fish Stock or Shellfish Stock)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, smashed
  • 2-inch piece ginger, smashed
  • 12 Manila clams
  • 12 mussels
  • 12 6/20 size shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 Tbs shiso, julienned (may substitute basil)
  • 1 tsp crushed chili pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • Lobster tails and crab legs (optional)


In a large saucepan, heat oil and sute onion and celery until soft but not browned. Add garlic and saffron; saute for 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook for an additional minute. Deglaze with white wine, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in crushed tomatoes, clam juice, bay leaf, lemongrass and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Discard lemongrass, ginger and bay leaf. Add clams and mussles to hot broth. When they begin to open, add shrimp and fish and simmer for 3-5 minutes. When using the optional lobster and crab, add them with the shrimp and fish. Add shiso and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add some or all of the sugar to adjust the acidity of the broth.