Phil’s Fish Market Cioppino Recipe: the best cioppino on the West Coast!
This is the real, true Phil’s Fish Market cioppino recipe from Phil DiGirolamo himself. I visit Phil’s a few times a year, and this rich broth packed with fresh seafood never lets me down. We can easily call it “the best” since Phil’s Fish Market Cioppino recipe beat Bobby Flay in a cioppino showdown on Food Network, and he ships his fish-laden tomatoey broth to soup lovers around the world by the gallon.
Phil packs his soup with clams, mussels, white fish, Dungeness crab, prawns, and scallops. Since we’re sharing his recipe, that’s what we’ve listed here, but you can use the base sauce and add any fish you choose. Remove it all from the shells for “lazy-man’s style” cioppino after cooking if you’d like, but the traditional soup is interactive – shells and all. The lemon and fresh parsley are an absolute must for serving. I usually chop the parsley and sprinkle it over the cioppino and pop the lemon on the side. I also serve it with warm gluten-free sourdough (I like Bread Srsly) or rolls.
Dining at Phil’s Fish Market:
If you’re ever in Moss Landing, CA – stop by to see Phil and tell him we sent you! The Cioppino in a Bowl at Phil’s Fish Market is gluten-free, but they usually serve it with a hunk of garlic bread. Tell the person taking your order you have a gluten allergy and to omit the bread. The fire roasted artichokes are AMAZING, since it’s 20 minutes from where they’re grown, so score one of those, or “Special Artichoke Salad.” Steamed mussels are fab (no bread) and the Siete Mares, a Mexican-style fish soup, is awesome, assuming you’ve already had the cioppino. The wine list is predominately local and pairs well with seafood.
If you have someone who is GF but doesn’t eat seafood, they can do the Grilled Chicken Salad or the Greek Salad. I really like the Greek Salad, and we often order it and a fire roasted artichoke to share before we eat our cioppino. You can check out the menu here.
I usually try to visit when the restaurant will be a little slower: 10:00-11:15am, 2:00-4:30pm, or after 7:00pm. (They close at 9:00pm.) That gives the staff more time to pay attention to my allergy.
Give Phil’s cioppino a try. I promise this recipe is totally worth the time.
Phil's Fish Market Cioppino
For the Cioppino:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 pound Little Neck clams
- 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed
- 2 quarts Cioppino Sauce, recipe follows
- 2 dashes Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce
- Pinch saffron
- 2 to 2 1/2 pound Dungeness crab, cooked, cleaned and cracked, or 1 pound cooked crab meat, preferably Dungeness
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shell on
- 1/2 pound squid tubes, cut in rings
- 1/2 pound firm-fleshed white fish fillets, cut in 2-inch cubes
- 1/4 pound bay scallops
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet basil
- 1 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
- 28 ounces water
- 1 tablespoon clam base without MSG, optional
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- dash Gluten Free Worcestershire sauce
- Black pepper, to taste
- Crushed red pepper, to taste
- Dash cinnamon
- Kosher salt, to taste
For the Cioppino:
- Put the olive oil, butter, and garlic in a wide, deep pot over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, but not brown. Add the wine and the clams, and cover. Turn the heat up to medium-high and steam until the clams start to open, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and steam until the just start to open, about 2 minutes.
- Now stir in the cioppino sauce, the Worcestershire sauce and saffron and bring to a simmer. Add the cracked crabs, if using, and the shrimp, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Then gently stir in the fish, squid and scallops, and simmer until they are all just cooked through, about 5 minutes. (If using cooked crab meat, stir it in very gently the last minute or so of cooking time.)
For the Cioppino Sauce:
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic, bay leaves, parsley and basil and cook, stirring, just to warm the garlic—do not let it brown.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, water, clam base, brown sugar, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, black and red peppers, cinnamon and salt to taste. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer uncovered for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
Recipe Credit: Phil’s Fish Market