Bit On The Side

Food Bits

Seafood Chowder

Having friends for Sunday lunch and not wanting to cook a roast I spent a fair bit of time trying to think of what to make. The fact that my guests had cooked for me (which was delicious) and one comes from San Sebastian (famous for it’s amazing food) there was a slight amount of pressure. As it’s still February I knew something hearty would be welcomed but thought a stew might be too heavy. When someone on a TV show I was watching cooked a clam chowder as part of a competition I knew that a seafood chowder would be perfect.

This recipe is simple enough that I was able to cook it whilst my friends were already round, chatting at the stove with a wooden spoon in one hand and a glass of white wine in the other.

As is my usual style, it’s not the most traditional chowder but I like the crispy bacon and spring onion garnish offsetting the creaminess of the chowder.

Served with crusty bread it went down swimmingly.

A close-up of the chowder without the bowl cracks.

Serves 4


vegetable oil
cayenne pepper
salt & pepper
bay leaf
1 tb flour
600ml fish stock
100g bacon (chopped or lardons)
400g fish pie mix
150g prawns
75ml single cream
300ml milk
50g spring onions (chopped, keep both the white and green parts)
1/2 onion (diced)
400g charlotte potatoes (halved)
4 corn cobs
crusty bread to serve


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add bacon, once it’s crispy remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the white of the spring onion, onion and a bay leaf to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the fish stock, lower the heat and allow it to come to a simmer.
  5. Put the potatoes in the pan, cover and cook for 10 minutes (check that the potatoes are tender).
  6. Season the chowder with grated nutmeg, pinch of cayenne pepper and salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in milk and then add corn. Cook for 4 minutes.
  8. Add the fish pie mix and simmer for a further 4 minutes.
  9. The chowder is pretty much ready so you just need to add the prawns and single cream and allow them to heat through, about 1 minute.
  10. Serve in bowls, garnish with bacon, the greens of spring onion and a sprinkle of paprika.

Tip: At step 8 put the bread in the oven to get nice and warm, serve with butter.

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