Tom Aikens’ Bouillabaisse


This bouillabaisse recipe from Tom Aikens creates a dish which can be served in a number of ways, with the broth and fish plated separately, or in one steaming bowl.

Either way this is an incredible recipe, with a hint of aniseed flavour provided by the fennel

For the bouillabaisse broth:
• 200ml of olive oil
2 bulbs of fennel, roughly chopped
2 red peppers, roughly chopped
• 10g of sea salt
20g of tarragon
4g of black pepper, crushed
1000g of fish bones
• 1000g of plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
• 30g of tomato paste
2 pinches of saffron
• 2 lemons, juiced
• 40g of butter
• salt
black pepper

For the rouille:
• 3 egg yolks
• 2g of salt
• 1 pinch of black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
• 1 pinch of saffron
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
• 200ml of olive oil
• 200ml of vegetable oil
• 4 garlic cloves

To plate:
1 plum tomato
200g of salmon fillet, skinned
200g of pollock, skinned
200g of monkfish, skinned
2 sardine fillets
8 mussels, cleaned
2g of basil leaves, chopped
2g of tarragon, chopped
2g of chives, chopped

1 To make the broth, place the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the fennel and cook for 3–4 minutes, without colouring it.
2 Add the red peppers, sea salt, tarragon and pepper, and cook for another 2–3 minutes. 3 Add the fish bones and tomatoes, cover with water to a depth of 2.5cm and bring to a simmer.
4 Skim off any scum that has risen to the surface, then add the tomato paste and saffron and bring back to a simmer.
5 Cook for 1 ½ hours until reduced by approximately one third, skimming away any more scum from time to time.
6 Use a stick blender to blend the mix to a smooth sauce. Pour through a fine sieve, pressing the solids with a ladle to extract all the liquid. Pour through a fine chinois, this time without pressing.
7 Add the lemon juice then pour into a blender and add the butter. Blend, check the seasoning and pass again through a fine sieve once more. Chill until needed.
8 To make the rouille, whisk the egg yolks with the seasoning, lemon juice, saffron and cayenne pepper.
9 Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking continuously. Stir in the garlic and add a little warm water to thin it down if you need to. Set aside until required.
10 Peel and deseed the tomato and chop the flesh finely to make a concasse.
11 Cut the salmon, pollock and monkfish into 50g pieces and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cut each sardine fillet in two.
12 Heat 500ml of the bouillabaisse broth to a simmer, add 30g of the rouille and whisk well.
13 Add the monkfish and mussels, poach for 3 minutes, then add the salmon and pollock and cook gently for another 7–8 minutes.
14 Add the sardine pieces, cook for 2 minutes, then add the herbs and tomato concasse. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Tom Aikens, originally published on


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