I don’t prepare many fish dishes, but when I do, Spanish fish stew is one of the few fish dishes that always comes to mind. Its rich, Mediterranean flavor is undoubtedly a household favorite. What’s more? It’s a one-pan meal. No mess, not a lot of dishes to clean! I would be lying if I said that that wasn’t one of the reasons I go for Spanish fish stew for a fish dinner night.
In this article, we will discuss what is Spanish fish stew, how to make Spanish fish stew, and everything you need to know to prepare a delicious, rich Spanish fish stew that is sure to be loved by the whole family– even the fish averse.
What Is Spanish Fish Stew?
A stew is a combination of vegetables, meat, or fish that contains less liquid than soups. A usual trait of a stew that differentiates it from a soup is that a stewing liquid is thicker because of the length of time it is simmered and reduced. The consistency of a stew is usually thicker and creamier. But what makes a stew, a Spanish fish stew?
A Spanish fish stew is reminiscent of Spanish flavors mixed with fish stew. We’re talking about paprika, salmon, fennel, and garlic; combined with our star ingredient, the fish is simmered and cooked in a thick sauce, usually potatoes.
The intense Mediterranean flavors separate Spanish fish stew from other kinds of stews, and we will discuss my favorite Spanish fish stew recipe in a few moments.
What Is In Spanish Fish Stew
If you’re wondering what is in Spanish fish stew, you’ve got it right; it’s the fish. But what kind of fish? Surprise! You can use any type of white fish of your preference, cod, halibut, red snapper, or tilapia. However, I recommend choosing firm white fish instead of delicate fish for stew recipes.
Other ingredients you would need for a simple Spanish fish stew are 1 one brown onion, one red capsicum, one tablespoon of smoked paprika, two cloves of sliced garlic, one tin of chickpeas, lemon juice, half a bulb of fennel sliced thinly, bite-sized floury potatoes, one tin of diced tomatoes, or you can also use chopped tomatoes, ½ cup of Spanish stuffed green olives, and 500g of your choice of fish (we used cod in this case).
How To Make Spanish Fish Stew
It’s not hard to learn how to make Spanish fish stew, but you’ve got to have the steps down in making this dish.
Choose a large pan with a cover to properly simmer the stew. You’ll be doing everything on this pan, so the larger the pan, the better.
Put olive oil in the pan, heat it, and then fry the onions until they are aromatic and tender. Add the garlic and fennel, and cook until the garlic is browned.
I then throw in the potatoes, cover the large pan with a lid, and let cook for 5 minutes. Once done, I add all my herbs and spices, including paprika and chili flakes. These strong herbs and spices give our fish stew the Spanish style and flavor, so make sure you don’t forget them! The potatoes should be covered in spices at this point.
Add the lemon juice and sizzle for one to two minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and ½ cup of water (or stock). Season with salt before covering the pan and letting it simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
Add the chickpeas and fish chunks into the dish and let simmer for 10 minutes in reduced heat. I prefer my fish to be skinless fish fillets cut into large chunks, so they’re easier to cook through. Stir the dish gently a few times and when the fish is cooked, remove the dish from the heat and garnish with herbs like parsley or lemon rind and bread.
What to Serve with Spanish Fish Stew
Compared to other kinds of meat, the thing about fish is that it is pretty lighter to consume. So the best sides to serve with any type of fish are those sides that are filling without being too heavy.
Grilled or Steamed Vegetables
Grilled or steamed vegetables like bell peppers and zucchini are great side dishes for any kind of dish. They are light but filling and supply nutrients that your main dish cannot. You can never go wrong with a vegetable as a side dish. I personally like them grilled with a bit of seasoning.
I also often go with oven-roasted asparagus, one of my favorites!
A salad is another perfect side dish to compliment the sweetness of fish stew. You can have any salad of your choice, but my favorite is Greek salads and Brussel sprout salads.
Garlic Bread with Cheese
I always serve my Spanish fish stew with garlic bread, topping them with cheese. I use baguettes for my bread, slice them, cover them with garlic butter mixture, and top them with cheese. I bake them in the oven until browned and serve them with my stew.
Coleslaw is another excellent option to serve as a side dish for any fish recipe with a delicious dressing.
Baked French Fries
Who doesn’t love french fries? Oven popped baked french fries are especially my favorite when making french fries as side dishes for my fish and meat meals, paired with ketchup or a garlic dip.
Spanish fish stew’s strong, flavorful taste is perfect for those looking for a Mediterranean flavor for their dinner table. With the right ingredients and spices, you can recreate your version of a Spanish fish stew at home.