This wonderfully flavorful spicy fish stew is one of my favorite ways to incorporate more fish into my diet. You can use whatever fish you have on hand - I like to mix cod and salmon. This truly easy recipe is ready in just 30 minutes!
This delicious stew is so very 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.
It's a fun recipe to make because you can use whatever fish you like and enjoy. I actually like to make things interesting by mixing a mild white-fleshed fish such as cod with a bold-tasting fish such as salmon. But you can use just one type of fish if you'd like.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this spicy fish stew. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here are my comments about a few of the ingredients:
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. Another tasty option is to use butter or ghee.
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.
Spices: I use 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.
Strained tomatoes: I recommend using either the Pomi or Bionature brands, although you could simply use canned tomato sauce. See the detailed discussion below.
Fish: As mentioned above, I use a mix of cod and salmon. But you can use whatever fish you like and enjoy.
Making this spicy fish stew is so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
You start by cooking garlic and spices in some olive oil. Cook briefly, just until fragrant.
Next, you whisk in tomato sauce and salt and bring the mixture to a boil.
Add chunks of fish. Make sure to spoon the sauce on top of the fish.
Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the fish is cooked through. This should take about 15 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, but not too frozen for you to cut them into chunks. I like to use partially frozen fish because it makes them easier to cut. So I defrost them the night before in the fridge, and by the time I'm ready to use them, they're just a bit frozen. Keep in mind that after adding frozen fish, it will take slightly longer for the stew to come back to a boil.
You could, but you don't have to. As you can see in the video below, I used skinless cod and skin-on salmon. Both options are fine. The skin won't crisp up, obviously, but it will be very tasty.
They're very good! Lots of cultures and cuisines have similar dishes. This specific recipe isn't even all that spicy. So if you like heat, you should probably use more of the red pepper flakes.
Expert tip: best tomato brand
While you can make this recipe with regular canned tomato sauce, I prefer to use strained tomatoes by one of two Italian brands - Pomi or Bionature. These tomatoes are smooth, flavorful, and sweet.
A domestic US tomato sauce will likely be more acidic. Pomi and Bionature products are available at Whole Foods Market and on Amazon.
Obviously amazing with crusty bread, for us low carbers this stew is thoroughly enjoyable when simply eaten with a spoon!
Keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Reheat them very gently, covered (to prevent splatters), in the microwave on 50% power.
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Spicy Fish Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
- 3 cups Pomi strained tomatoes or canned tomato sauce, no salt added*
- 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 2 (6 oz) cod fillets cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 (6 oz) salmon fillets cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and spices. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Whisk in the tomato sauce and kosher salt. When the mixture starts to boil, add the fish pieces, spooning the sauce on top to cover them. Bring back to a gentle boil.
- Cover (use heavy-duty foil if your skillet does not come with a lid), lower the heat to medium-low, and cook until the fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.