Bourride is simple enough to put together but the finished dish oozes with flavour. The fennel & fish combination is always going to work but I think it’s the hit of orange that really finishes it off and complements this rich, garlic-infused fish stew.

Make the aïoli by hand – there’s really no excuse not to – it all comes together beautifully when mixed by motar & pestle.

This is what you’ll need


  • 3 cloves of garlic – sliced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Olive oil – several tablespoons (just keep adding the stuff until you’re happy with the mix)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • A pinch of salt.

Fish stew

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion – sliced
  • 2 leeks – trimmed, cleaned and sliced into 1 inch portions
  • Half a bulb of fennel, sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 600ml fish stock
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • Half a kilo of firm, white fish – I used monkfish
  • 5 or 6 large prawns
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Salt & pepper
  • Parsley.

To make the aïoli, pound the garlic with a motor and pestle until you create a smooth paste (add a little salt to help puree the garlic). Add the egg yolk and begin to mix. Gradually add oil – keep pouring until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the lemon juice and a twist of salt.

Keep tasting the aïoli as you blend it. If the taste of the olive oil becomes too strong, use a splash of groundnut oil to tame the olive oil flavour.

Keep the aïoli to the side.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a thick-bottomed pan and add the onion, leeks, fennel and tomato. Sweat them down over a medium heat for 10 minutes or so – stirring occasionally.

Add the wine, allow to reduce for a minute or 2 then add the stock.

Simmer the stock for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the stock into a clean pan and bring to a simmer. (Don’t throw the veg away – serve it on the side – it will be full of flavour and wonderfully cooked). Add the saffron to the stock.

The monkfish should be cut into substantial bite-sized pieces. Make sure you remove any tough membrane from around the monkfish.

Add the monkfish to the stock and poach for a minute or 2.

The prawns should be peeled and de-veined (or just stick them in whole if you’re happy with them that way).

Add the prawns to the stock and poach for a further couple of minutes. Remove the monkish and prawns with a slotted spoon and place in the middle of warmed bowls.

Take a ladle of the stock and pour into the aïoli (if you pour the aïoli directly into the stock it would split). Now spoon the aïoli/stock mix back into the stock and simmer for a few minutes. Add the orange zest and taste for seasoning.

Pour the sauce over the fish and finish with parsley and more orange zest.

Serve with a good quality bread – toasted if you like. Don’t be shy with the bread – you’ll need plenty to mop up the incredible stock.




2 thoughts on “Bourride

  1. Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me for how long should I poach a 6 ounce sea bass fillet in broth or in olive oil. also how can I get the bourride to be extra thick?

  2. Hi there – I wouldn’t poach sea bass for much more than 5 or 6 minutes. But – if you’re poaching in oil (or rather confit in oil) you would poach for longer given that the oil shouldn’t be as hot as a broth. Take a look at this:

    For the bourride, you don’t want it ultra thick but remember – the aïoli is going to thicken it.. So – make plenty of aïoli up (nothing wrong with having plenty of leftover aïoli handy for other meals). Juts remember to add a little of the hot stock into the aïoli before you add it back into the fish/stock.

    Hope that helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *