Josh Emett of The Oyster Inn
Josh Emett of The Oyster Inn

The Oyster Inn Market Fish Bouillabaisse

Contributed by Josh Emett of The Oyster Inn

Bouillabaisse is a French fish stew that originated in the port city of Marseille. With humble beginnings, it was made as a hearty meal for returning fisherman. Today it can be found in restaurants the world over. At The Oyster Inn it has fast become one of the most popular dishes since it was added to the menu. This is a surprisingly quick dish to make so is perfect for mid-week entertaining.


2 tbsp olive oil

1 small brown onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 bulb fennel, chopped (reserve fennel tips for garnish)

½ red chilli, finely chopped (or more if you like spice)

pinch saffron

2 large tomatoes, chopped

250g tomato pulp (can use quality tin of pulped tomatoes)

300g roasted fish bones (roast for 30 minutes on 200°C)

800ml water

salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

8 fresh mussels

12 clams or tuatua

2 tbsp white wine

12 prawns

500g fresh fish (hapuka or cod is best), cut into 50g pieces

crusty French bread and garlic aioli, to serve

Serves 4


Put the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and sweat down the onion and garlic until softened. Add the fennel, chilli and the saffron and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant.


Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato pulp. Cook down for a few minutes then add the roasted fish bones and the water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Blend with bones, and then pass through a coarse chinois (or sieve). Season with sea salt and pepper. Set aside.


Put a medium-sized pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil, then the mussels and clams and the white wine. Place a lid on top and steam for a few minutes, then add the prepared soup and bring to the boil.


Add the prawns and the fish and simmer for a few minutes until cooked through.


Serve with bread and aioli.

Contributed by Josh Emett of The Oyster Inn, for The Spirit of Waiheke: An Ode to An Island.