Fisherman’s Stew

By Alexander Lobrano

Published on March 27, 2014

No dish has come to symbolize the city of Marseille quite like bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew built on stock made from tiny flavorful rockfish and served with creamy aïoli and crusty bread. But bouillabaisse is just one star in a constellation of fishermen's stews, one-pot seafood dishes with as many variations as there are kitchens in the south of France. The lesser-known but equally charming bourride, another Marseillais classic, gets its flavor from shrimp and firm-fleshed fish such as bass, turbot, cod, and snapper. The dish is simpler and milder than its world-famous cousin, but a delicate hand is still required to create its broth of onion, leek, and tomato, which is strained and then thickened with a generous dollop of garlicky aïoli. The aïoli, typically sharpened with a bit of mustard, deepens the flavors of the broth and lends a luxurious, velvety body. Keep in mind that once the aïoli is added, the broth must be stirred constantly until it comes to a simmer, so that the egg yolk doesn't coagulate and the emulsion remains smooth.

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