Ghent-Style Turbot Stew

  • Serves

    serves 4-6

This recipe for waterzooi ("simmering water") is an adaptation of one from Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook by Ruth Van Waerebeek (Workman, 1996).


  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 4 medium leeks, trimmed, white and pale green parts only, julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and julienned
  • 12 celery root, peeled and julienned
  • 2 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 12 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fish stock
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless turbot, sole, or halibut cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 12 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Leaves from 8 sprigs parsley, chopped


Step 1

Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, celery root, and shallots and cook until slightly soft, 3-5 minutes. Add wine, stock, thyme, bay leaf, saffron, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until vegetables are soft, 10-15 minutes. Add fish and poach until cooked through, 6-8 minutes.

Step 2

Whisk milk and egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Gradually add 1 cup of the hot broth from pot, whisking constantly, then stir hot milk mixture back into pot. Heat stew until hot (do not allow to boil; it will curdle) Adjust seasonings. Garnish with parsley.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.