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Seafood Ciopinno With Soft Shell Crab

Cioppino is somewhat similar to Bouillabaisse, traditionally made from the catch of the day, typically a combination of seafood & tomatoes in a wine sauce.
This is a dish adapted from a restaurant my family ate at sometime ago, & I tried making it for my hubby’s Birthday Seafood Galore. I 'm delighted that this recipe has been featured @ PtitChef as Main Dish of the Day!
I love cooking Bouillabaisse at home. It’s rich with assorted seafood & I can add whatever I find in the supermarket – mussels, clams, prawns, fish, squid etc. To reproduce the restaurant’s version of Ciopinno, I just need add Linguine & Soft Shell Crab.
The shell of the crab is completely soft & can be eaten; making the entire crab edible. This delicacy is extremely popular, especially in Japanese cusine.

(Serves 6)
1 kg Clams
500g Salmon bones
500g Medium Prawns
1 Large Squid
2 Onions (diced)
2 Celery Sticks (cut up)
2 Bay leaves
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1 cup White wine
5 Large tomatoes
680g Tomato paste
Flour for coating crabs
Salt & ground black pepper for taste
Parsley for garnish

  1. Click here to see preparation for clams.
  2. Remove shells & heads from prawns & keep them. Devein prawns & rinse. Place fish bones, shells, heads, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves & wine in pot. Bring to boil & simmer for 30 mins.
  3. Remove fish. When cool, take out the meat to add to soup later, giving it an extra richness.
  4. Strain the rest of the cooked food & reserve stock.
  5. Put tomatoes in hot water for easy removal of the skin. You can see the skin coming off easily in no time.
  6. Heat stock. Dice tomatoes & add into stock with paste. Simmer for 20 mins.
  7. Clean & remove skin from squid. Cut squid into slices & criss-cross the underside. The pattern on the squid will show once it’s cooked.
  8. Rinse soft shell crabs & lightly pat them dry with paper towel. Cut into halves. Coat with flour & deep-fry crabs till crispy. Remove & set aside.
  9. Add clams into stock, followed by prawns. Simmer till clam shells open. Put in squid & lastly, fish. Turn off fire when squid is cooked. Discard unopened clams.
  10. Dish out pasta on serving plate. Scoop up your yummy seafood onto plate & top with soft shell crab. Garnish with parsley & serve.
Bouillabaisse Cioppino


  1. Wow, what an expensive dish! lol! haha.... Must be very very flavourful. yummm... Hope you're having a wonderful day.

  2. expensive but yummy!!!! can i have a bite?

  3. I am always ready for Cioppino!! thanks for a wonderful recipe for this glorious dish!

  4. Yum Yum! Lots of work need to be done before you could it. LOL. But then, when put under your hand, all seems so easy.

  5. I love rich shellfish soups. Smart use of the salmon bones for even more seafood flavor and body. Also appreciate the use of soft shell crabs, loads of flavor there too.


  6. This is one of my favorite dishes...I hate cleaning squid though...I am way lazy :)

  7. Kristy, I'm sure prices are much cheaper at your hometown. Hahaha!

    Baby, thks! Why don't u try making it??

    Dennis, it's a great honour having a Chef commenting on this :) Thks!

    Simply Life, it tastes great too!

    Deli S, my kitchen's always like a war zone after cooking. The one that has a lot of work to do is my poor hubby, who has to clean up after me. Hahaha!

    Lazaro, I agree that Salmon is perfect for this dish. Plus, the combi of the crispy seafood adds a crunch to the Cioppino.

    Alisha, surprisingly, the squids found in S'pore somehow contain lesser ink than those I've seen on TV shows in the west. I'd like to try making Ink Squid Pasta but I just don't know what I can find ink. I may have to resort to going to the stationery shop. LOL!

  8. Oh YUM! What a lovely rich and comforting dish.

  9. Hi Shirley - I love your version of Ciopinno! The addition of soft shell crab really makes it unique!

  10. Penny, another treasures from the sea :)

    Denise, thks! Just wanna let u noe it means a lot!


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