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Choosing Seafood for Bouillabaisse

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2001

We've found that the best bouillabaisse is made from a combination of three groups of seafood.

We've found that the best bouillabaisse is made from a combination of three groups of seafood.

The fun of bouillabaise is that one mouthful can contain buttery flakes of ocean perch, the bite of monkfish, the chew of a little mollusk, and the slippery firmness of shrimp. A tasting determined that a combination of three groups of seafood was best: firm-fleshed fish, flaky fish, and shellfish. Three fish and three shellfish make a great combination--or go with four fish and two shellfish if you prefer. Doubtless many freshwater fish would work well in a bouillabaisse recipe, but we limited our testing to saltwater fish in the interest of time.

RECOMMENDED

For best results choose at least one fish from each category:

Firm

Chilean Sea Bass

grouper

haddock

halibut

John Dory

monkfish

striped bass

tilapia

Flaky

hake

ocean perch

red snapper

Thai snapper

Shellfish

mussels

sea scallops

shrimp

NOT RECOMMENDED

Too Oily:

bluefish

mackerel

salmon

Incompatible Cooking Rates

clams

cod

sole

Too Meaty

mahi-mahi

swordfish

tuna