Last Updated on 16th May 2022 by Pauline
Chowders are simple, easy-to-make warming bowls of soup perfect for cold weather. My love for this comfort food began when my friend called me and told me she was enjoying a hearty bowl of fish chowder.
I got intrigued since I haven’t tried it yet. She told me to come over, and her Canadian grandmother cooked one for me. From then, I’ve learned how to make fish chowder.
What is fish chowder, you ask? Fish chowder is a thick, creamy white fish soup that can be made with many types of fish. It has chunky vegetables like celery, carrot, onion, and garlic.
Some recipes include potatoes, which make it a meal in itself. If you’re like me, who loves to eat fish, it’s a great recipe to try over your usual pan fry or baked fish dishes!
What is the Best Fish for Fish Chowder?
This soup can include almost any type of seafood or white fish. So, what is the best fish for fish chowder? Firm and “meaty” types such as Snapper, barramundi, tilapia, cod, ling, monkfish, marlin, latchet (gurnard), leather jacket, Spanish mackerel, shark (flake), salmon, and haddock are ideal for fish chowders.
How to Make Fish Chowder with Haddock
If you want to try to make one yourself, here’s how to make a fish chowder with haddock. First, prepare the following ingredients:
- Two tablespoons butter
- 2 lb haddock fillets or 2 lb white fish fillet (firm)
- Four chicken stock
- Four sliced mushrooms
- One teaspoon salt
- 2 cups finely chopped onions
- 4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup chopped celery
- One pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 2 12oz cans of evaporated milk
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup clam juice
Once you have all these ingredients prepared, do the following:
- First, place two tablespoons of butter on a large stock pan over medium heat
- When the butter is melted, add two cups of chopped onions.
- Then, add four sliced mushrooms and one chopped celery.
- Saute the vegetables, stirring them occasionally, for about five minutes until they are tender.
- Add four cups of chicken stock and four cups of peeled and diced potatoes.
- Once done, bring the chowder to a boil, then get the heat to a low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, dice two pounds of haddock into half-inch cubes. Any white fish will work here, even a mixture of fish such as tilapia or cod.
- Add the fish to the pot.
- Stir it in and allow it to simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Next, season with salt and pepper to taste. If you’re like me, who likes bolder flavors, add a bit of seafood seasoning.
- Wondering how to thicken your fish chowder? Easy. Pour a cup of clam juice into a small bowl and add a cup of flour. Whip them together until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour it into the pot to help thicken the chowder.
- Stir it all together and bring it to a simmer again.
- When it thickens, remove it from the heat and stir in two 12-ounce cans of evaporated milk.
Voila! Your fish chowder is ready to serve. Top the chowder with bacon bits and a few shakes of hot sauce for a bit of spice to make it fancier.
What to Serve with Fish Chowder
Classic side dishes such as any type of bread will work great with fish chowder. Personally, I prefer oyster crackers or a hunk of freshly baked cornbread for dipping for starters. If you want alternatives, here’s a list of some of the best side dishes to pair with your fish chowder.
1. Freshly Baked Bread
Well, it goes without saying. Whether paired with soup or chowder, freshly baked bread is their match made in heaven. Any type of bread works well. It just depends on your preference. But the harder and crunchier, the better.
2. Caesar Salad
What can go wrong with good old Caesar salad? This will bring a nice element of texture to the meal for sure. The flavorful dressing of the Caesar salad will surely complement the thick and creamy broth of the fish chowder nicely. Plus, it brings in a nice contrast between the two hot and cold dishes.
3. Baked Potato
Just like your freshly baked bread, the humble baked potato is a cornerstone of all side dishes and is offered anywhere you go. Well, it’s because they also go with almost anything, don’t you think?
They work pretty well with your fish chowder, especially when potatoes are absent in the soup. Whether you make it with just butter or serve these babies loaded with all the usual fixings, it will be awesome for sure.
4. Fried Cauliflower
When you prefer fried vegetables over French fries, here’s one alternative you could try. This side dish may be slightly different and require extra prep work, but they bring a slightly healthier element to the meal. C
auliflower heads are not that expensive, and it also adds some much-needed texture to the meal. If you are not a fan of cauliflowers, you can opt for a different vegetable like mushrooms, zucchini, or even pickles.
How Long is Fish Chowder Good for in the Fridge?
You might have some fish chowder leftovers since it is a big pot. How long does fish chowder last in the fridge, though? Properly stored, cooked fish chowder will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. If you want to extend its shelf life further, freeze it in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
Remember to always taste your dish before deciding to reheat. Trust your nose and tastebuds, and be wary of funky smells and sourness!