Lobaster Cioppino, from www.PremierSystems.Com/recipes
Google: Bruce Moffitt


Lobster Cioppino is a great Seafood dish. It is an offshoot of the seafood soups that are common on all coasts that the Portuguese and Italians have taken as home. This one is based on the way the fishing families of the West Coast of the US cook. It is a grand recipe, as long as you don't mind taking your dinner apart with your hands.

Lobster Cioppino is another of those recipes that are made in more that one part, and then the parts are added together and cooked a bit more to finish off the dish just before serving. Cioppino consists of a light herbal tomato sauce, a nice fish fumet, a couple handfuls of the seafood catchs of the day, and a fair bit of lobster. Add all together in a pot, preferably cast iron, and bring the whole thing gently up to a simmer for a couple minutes, drop in a last bit of abulone or squid, and maybe a last dash of Tabasco, then put in big, flat bowls and serve with a loaf of good bread, a clean, sharp salad, and a big bottle of red wine. Lobster Cioppino is one of those dishes that you can spend a lot of very pleasant time eating.


First we do the light tomato sauce base. This quantity is about right for 4 or 5 hungry people. To begin, heat a good sized skillet, and add:

  • 1 Tbl Butter
  • 1 Tbl Olive Oil

When butter sizzles, add:

  • 2 carrot, thin slice
  • 1/2 green pepper or 2-3 jalapenos, chopped
  • stalk celery, some leaves, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 med onion, chopped

Saute around a bit, not too hot, till the onion is transparent, add:

fair bit basil, bit of oregano, wad of parsely, all preferably fresh, nice bay leaf, 1/4 tsp fennel seed, a clove, a grind black pepper, a tsp or more of ground red chile.

Saute this around for just a bit till you can smell the spices. Then add:

A good splash white wine, a good dash of Tabasco, and a good shot of both red wine vinegar and Worstershire Sauce.

Toss this around for a small bit, and add:

Five 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce.

Simmer this all up for an hour or two, and reserve. This will keep on the stove for a day or two, and refrigerates well. It will freeze for future reference for up to a couple months.


The second part of the Cioppino is the stock, or fish flavored soup base. To do this, wash a couple pounds of fish bones, a couple fish heads, and the lobster shells. Put them into a stock or stew pot, add a couple quarts of water, a big piece of onion, stalk of celery, a carrot or two chopped up, maybe a grind of black pepper or even a turnip. Keep this part pretty simple though. Simmer the stock gently a couple hours, strain, cool well and reserve.


For a nice serving of Cioppino you should have a couple good pieces of lobster, and agood selection of other seafood types. The only good seafood is absolutely fresh seafood, so let what is available best be your guide. With the lobster you do want a mix of a bit of fish, a few shellfish, maybe a shrimp or two, and maybe a bit of squid, octopus or abulone thrown in a the last moment. For each serving, a typical seafood mix might include in addition to the lobster any three or four of the below:

  • 2 one ounce pieces of nice, white fish like rock bass or halibut
  • 2 medium sized shrimp, or a medium langostine, or 3 crayfish
  • 4 mussels
  • 3 clams
  • 6-8 limpets
  • 2 thumb sized pieces of well pounded octopus
  • a few small scallops
  • couple halibut cheeks
  • a small crab, or a couple pieces of a bigger one


In a large pan, for each serving add:

  • One ladle tomato base
  • One ladle fish stock
  • The lobster
  • A good handful of seafood, must include both fish and shellfish
  • Splash of white wine

Simmer up gently till shell fish shells open. Discard the occasional one that does not open. Take off fire. At this point, a bit of finely sliced squid or abulone can be added, the residual heat will cook them sufficiently.

Pull the corks out of a couple more bottles of wine, get the bread out of the oven, serve the Lobster Cioppino and ENJOY.

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