A wonderfully flavorful spicy fish stew with garlic and tomatoes that enhances, rather than masks, the delicate flavor of the fish.
This delicious stew is so flavorful. And although quite spicy, the heat does not overwhelm the dish. Rather, the seasonings allow the delicate flavor of the fish to shine through.
I’m generally not a huge fan of delicate white fish. I usually prefer bold-flavored fish such as tuna and salmon. But the seasonings used in this recipe impart lots of flavor and make it one of my favorite ways to serve cod.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty fish stew. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you’d rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. And if you happen to be out of fresh garlic, you can use a comparable amount of garlic powder instead.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: Paprika, cumin, coriander, and crushed red peppers. Please make sure that the spices you use are fresh. It’s been my (sad) experience that a stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Tomato paste and tomatoes: For the tomatoes, in terms of brands, I recommend using either Pomi strained tomatoes or Cento tomato puree (see the detailed discussion below).
Cod fillets: I use skinless fillets in this recipe. Good news: Cod is on the FDA’s recommended fish list. It’s one of the safest fish to eat.
How to make a fish stew
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. You start by mixing together the olive oil, garlic, salt, spices, and tomato paste.
2. Next, you heat the mixture in a large deep skillet.
3. Whisk in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then add the fish. Spoon the sauce on top of the fish.
4. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
The tomato brand you use makes a difference
I use the Pomi brand of strained tomatoes in this fish stew recipe. You can substitute canned tomato puree, but I find that Pomi tomatoes are extremely flavorful and sweet.
A domestic tomato puree will likely be more acidic, so you might want to add a tablespoon of honey to balance out the flavors.
Pomi products are available in most supermarkets, at Whole Foods Market, and on Amazon (link below in the recipe card).
Another good Italian brand is Cento – and this one is easier to find in supermarkets.
How to serve this spicy fish stew
Obviously amazing with crusty bread, for us low carbers it is thoroughly enjoyable when simply eaten with a spoon! It’s also nice with some almond flour biscuits on the side.
What about leftovers?
Keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Reheat them very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
More tasty cod recipes that you might enjoy
Never miss a recipe!
I typically publish a new recipe once or twice per week. Want the new recipes in your inbox? Subscribe!
Spicy Fish Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
- 2 cups Pomi strained tomatoes
- 3 (7 oz) cod fillets, cut in half
- In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, kosher salt, paprika, cumin, coriander, and crushed red peppers to create a paste.
- Heat a large, heavy skillet (I use a cast-iron skillet) over medium-high heat, 2-3 minutes. Add the paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Whisk in the strained tomatoes. When the tomatoes start to boil, add the fish fillets, spooning the sauce on top.
- Cover (use heavy-duty foil if your skillet does not come with a lid), lower the heat to medium, and cook until the fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes.