Five ingredient fish stew

by Luke Mackay

Luke Mackay shares an easy fish stew recipe, inspired by the latest Cookbook Club event

The trick when only using five ingredients is to get the most out of each component. Good, fresh seafood is of course a must, as there is absolutely nowhere for any of the ingredients to hide. Roasting the bones before you simmer them and using fennel instead of onion are also great ways of intensifying the flavour.

Read the write up of the Cookbook Club event that inspired this recipe


1 medium sea bream
1 small monkfish tail
1 fennel bulb
1kg mussels
1 tin of tomatoes


Fillet, trim and pin-bone your sea bream. Cut each fillet in half, set aside in the fridge and keep the bones/trimmings. Remove the fillets from the monkfish tail and remove the membrane. Put the fillets with the bream and the bone/membrane with the bream bones. Thinly slice the fennel and add to the bones.

Heat your oven to 180C and spread the bones, fennel and trimmings out on a baking tray. Season and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 mins. Remove from the oven and add to a casserole dish with 1 litre water and the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for at least 1 hour on a low heat.

Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan through a fine sieve or chinois. Really push it through with a wooden spoon or ladle to extract all the flavour. Bring the broth to a simmer and reduce by half until you have a rich soup. Cook the bream fillets in a non-stick pan, skin side down for 4-5 mins. Flip over for 1 min. Add the mussels and monkfish to the soup and simmer for 5 mins. Divide into bowls and top with a piece of sea bream.

Recipe: Luke Mackay