Place of origin
United States of America
Region or state
Seafood (Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels), fish, tomatoes, wine
Bouillabaisse, Chowder, Mussel, Clam, Cacciucco
Cioppino recipe san francisco cioppino a spicy fish stew recipe
Cioppino is a fish stew originating in San Francisco, California. It is considered an Italian-American dish, and is related to various regional fish soups and stews of Italian cuisine.
Homemade cioppino recipe laura vitale laura in the kitchen episode 263
Cioppino is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in San Francisco is typically a combination of Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and fish all sourced from salt-water ocean; in this case the Pacific. The seafood is then combined with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce, and served with toasted bread, either local sourdough or French bread. In the dish, the bread is as a starch, similar to a pasta. It is freely dipped into the ample quantity of sauce. The bread then absorbs, holds, and modulates the flavorful yet slender (watery) sauce; that is to be freely "sopped up" by the heavy, full bodied breads. The bread's consumption, after dipping into the sauce, prolongs the flavors on the palette when eating the dish.
Cioppino was developed in the late 1800s primarily by Italian immigrants who settled in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, many from the port city of Genoa. Originally it was made on the boats while out at sea and later became a staple as Italian restaurants proliferated in San Francisco.
The name comes from ciuppin which is the name of a classic soup from the Italian region Liguria, similar in flavor to cioppino but with less tomato and using Mediterranean seafood cooked to the point that it falls apart.
The dish also shares its origin with other regional Italian variations of seafood stew similar to ciuppin, including cacciucco from Tuscany, brodetto di pesce from Abruzzo, and others. Similar dishes can be found in coastal regions throughout the Mediterranean, from Portugal to Greece. Examples of these include suquet de peix from Catalan-speaking regions and bouillabaisse from Provence.
Generally the seafood is cooked in broth and served in the shell, including the crab, which is often served halved or quartered. It therefore requires special utensils, typically a crab fork and cracker. Depending on the restaurant, it may be accompanied by a bib to prevent food stains on clothing, a damp napkin, and a second bowl for the shells. A variation, commonly called "lazy man's cioppino," is served with shells pre-cracked or removed.
Gianni's North Beach (video plus text): Cook presents the dish as a Christmas Eve stew.