Waterzooi – North Sea Fish Stew

     Serves 8


     4 lbs (2 kg) various North Sea fish, mussels, and other shellfish
     4 oz (125 g) shallots
     2½ cups (500 ml) fish stock
     2½ cups (500 ml) dry white wine
     14 oz (400 g) leeks
     ½ stick selery
     14 oz (400 g) carrots
     ½ cup (150 g) butter
     2½ cups (500 ml) cream
     2 Tbs finely chopped parsley
     Salt, black pepper


  • Gut and fillet the fish, thoroughly wash and scrape the mussels and other shellfish. 
  • Peel and finely chop the shallots and poach together with the fish, mussels and other shellfish in the fish stock and white wine. 

  • Wash or scrape the remaining vegetables, cut into fine strips and braise lightly in 3 Tbs of butter. 
  • Strain through a sieve and retain the liquid. 

  • Remove the fish and shellfish from the stock, add the vegetable stock and reduce the liquid. 
  • Pour in the cream and bring to the boil, then add the remaining butter.
  • Remove the shellfish from their shells and put them in an oven proof tureen together with the vegetables; pour the sauce over the ingredients. 

  • Bring briefly to the boil once more and serve sprinkled with parsley. 

       Chardonnay is a good accompaniment to this dish.