Secret Recipe: Scoma's Lazy Man's Cioppino
(photo via Yelp)

Secret Recipe: Scoma's Lazy Man's Cioppino


A San Francisco institution, Scoma's has been serving up some of the city's best cioppino since 1965. Last year, the restaurant brought on chef Gordon Drysdale (Bix) to revamp and modernize the menu, and he managed to make the fisherman's stew even better. Visit the restaurant, or use the recipe below, to find out how.

Scoma's Cioppino

Serves 4

Cioppino Sauce Base

¼ cup rice bran oil (or olive oil)

1 medium onion, diced

2 T chopped fresh garlic

½ cup vegetable stock (or water)

3 T red wine vinegar

½ t dried oregano

2 medium cans high-quality chopped tomatoes

2 T tomato paste

2 t Kosher salt

½ bunch fresh basil

1. Heat olive oil in a medium size, heavy bottomed pot.

2. Add onions and open, then add garlic and saute for 10 min. on low heat.

3. Add the stock and the vinegar and cook until almost dry.

4. Add tomatoes, paste and the oregano and cook for 30-40 minutes.

5. Add the salt and the basil and cook for 5 more minutes.

6. Adjust seasoning to liking (chile flakes are a nice addition).

7. Cool rapidly, store tightly covered when cold. Use within 2 days.


1½ cup cioppino sauce base

5 each littleneck clams

5 each mussels

2 pieces ling cod or other white fish (3 oz. total)

1¾ oz cooked crab meat

3 each large gulf prawns

3 each dry pack dayboat scallops

1 piece toasted garlic bread

1 sprig Italian flatleaf parsley

1. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cold pan and warm over medium.

2. Add clams and mussels, moving the shellfish around in the pan. Be careful not to let the pan flame up.

3. Remove each clam and mussel as it opens, reserve to the side.

4. Next, add the fish, prawns and scallops, and let simmer gently until almost cooked through.

5. Add back shellfish to the pan to heat through.

6. Plate in large bowl with ling cod in middle, shellfish around the perimeter and the rest of the stew piled in center. The crab meat should be sticking up on top.

7. Finish with other garnishes and serve immediately.

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