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Island Good Seafood Recipe

Story from: Island Farm & Garden December 2022

Looking for a new easy and savoury recipe for seasonal entertaining that contains many local, Island Good ingredients, such as seasonal vegetables and local seafood? Look no further than this classic Cioppino recipe provided by Chef Chris Hooten, from Island Good Woodfire Restaurant and Woodfire Spices on Gabriola Island! Chef Hooten has a pure passion for food and his philosophy is to use fresh quality ingredients and let the flavours speak for themselves.

Woodfire Spices was born out of Chef’s passion for blending individual flavours together to create easy to use spice blends for everyday use. You can purchase them at several Island Good retailers such as Country Grocer, Pages Resort, Tru Value Foods, Quality Foods and the Salty Woodsman and online at shopbcause.ca and www.woodfirerestaurant.ca/woodfire-spice.

Cioppino is a tomato-based seafood stew that was invented by the San Francisco Italian fishermen in the late 1800s using whatever seafood was left over from the day’s catch. Oftentimes it was crab, shrimp, clams and fish, which were then combined with onions, garlic, and tomatoes and slowcooked with herbs and spices in olive oil and wine.

Originally it was made on the boats while out at sea and in Italian homes but as the Italian restaurants started sprouting up around the wharf, Cioppino moved into the restaurant and became a very popular dish.

Cioppino Recipe (Makes 4 portions)

  • 25g butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 roughly chopped onion
  • 1 peeled & roughly chopped carrot
  • 4 roughly chopped stalks of celery
  • 25g all-purpose flour
  • 25g Woodfire Spice Pacific Cioppino Spice Blend (This unique blend of herbs & spices is the foundation of the classic Cioppino)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • splash of dry white wine
  • 1 can of good quality chopped Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1lt of water


In a heavy-bottomed pot, over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the garlic and lightly fry for a couple of minutes Add all the raw vegetables and cook on medium heat until they start to soften. Mix the flour and spice mix together and stir into the vegetables. Stir continuously for several minutes until all the oils have been absorbed and the spice mix coats all the vegetables. Add in the tomato paste and continue to stir for a further couple of minutes Add the white wine, tomatoes & water, stirring with a wooden spoon to lift up any residue on the base of the pot. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for 30 to 45 minutes.

At this point, you have a choice to make, whether you leave your broth chunky or blend it. I prefer to blend & strain the broth to give a more refined finish but rustic is good too.

NOTE: the cioppino may be covered & refrigerated for up to 2 days before use. To use broth that has been refrigerated, reheat to boiling and then reduce heat to low until broth is simmering gently.

So now for the main part of the dish, the seafood. It is entirely up to you on the amount and type of seafood you want to add to the broth, but fresh, local and seasonal is your best bet.


Manilla Clams in shell Vancouver Island Mussels Raw extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined** Scallops Fish fillets (halibut, cod, or salmon), cut into bite-size chunks Dungeness crab meat


Scrub clams and mussels with a small stiff brush under cold running water. Remove beards from mussels. Discard any open clams or mussels. Gently stir in the clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, fish fillets, and crab meat to the prepared stock. Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until clams & mussels pop open and the shrimp are opaque when cut. NOTE: Do not overcook the seafood (the seafood continues to cook after it is removed from the pan). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and ladle broth and seafood into large soup bowls

Serve with local bread and Island Good white wine. Bon Appetit! It’s all Good, Island Good. Island Good,

Where to find Island Good seafood:

Walcan Seafood (shop.walcan.com) provides seafood delivery to Vancouver Island from Victoria to Campbell River & Quadra Island or visit Crabby Bob’s Seafood at 705 Island Hwy, Campbell River or French Creek Seafood, 1097 Lee Road, Parksville in-person to purchase local seafood. Also look for The Drift Meat and Seafood Ltd. (the-drift.ca) at local Christmas markets and the Duncan Farmers’ Market, 200 Craig St, Duncan (Saturdays, Year-round)

Following is a list of all our Island Good seafood providers:

Island Good is all about promoting local products (Vancouver Island and the Rural Islands) so that it is easy to find what you are looking for. Look for the Island Good logo on products and in stores near you!

Island Good is good for the economy, good for jobs, good for the environment, and good for us!