Cape Town Seafood Stew

This Cape Town Seafood stew contains lots of freshly picked mussels, shellfish and sea lettuce and is combined with a bag of frozen mixed seafood. All ingredients are cooked in a tomato based

sauce, that is enriched with white wine, garlic, onion, savory spices and herbs. Here in Cape Town we are blessed with lots of fish, shellfish and seaweeds. So with each of us having a bait collecting and fishing permit we regularly go out to collect seafood fresh from the sea.  

Preparation time: 30 minutes 
Cooking time: at least 20 minutes
Resting time: 0 minutes
Total time needed: at least 50 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard


Serves 4

Cape Town Seafood Stew

  • 3 tbs. coconut oil
  • 300 grams / 10.6 oz. frozen seafood mix
  • 700 grams / 25 oz. freshly picked mussels and a mix of small shellfish like periwinkels, limpets and alikreukels (Optional - If you can't get hold of freshly picked shellfish replace it with frozen mussels from a reputable fish merchant)
  • 1 cup of sea lettuce, torn into strips (optional)
  • 1 x 410 gram / 14.4 oz. can of diced and peeled tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin rings
  • 100 ml / 3.4 oz. dry white wine
  • 1 tbs. dark balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 x red cayenne chilli pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. palm sugar (optional - use brown sugar instead)
  • 1 tsp. crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground (or to taste)


  • Roughly clean and wash the freshly collected mussels, shellfish and sea lettuce to get rid of most of the sand and let the excess water drain off
  • Take the sea lettuce and put it aside for a while 
  • Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and add the mussels and shellfish, cover with lid and let them boil for 5 minutes
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove mussels and shellfish from the pot and discard the water as it will contain a lot of sand
  • Rinse mussels and shellfish again to get rid of the remaining sand, the beard of the mussels, intestines of limpets and the hard protective cover disks of alikreukels and periwinkels
  • Break of the half each mussel shell that doesn't contain the meat and discard
  • Heat coconut oil in a large skillet / pan on medium hot setting
  • Add Garlic and onion rings, cover with lid and braise for 5 minutes or till onions rings are beginning to change color and are becoming soft, stir regularly
  • Add the tomatoes and wine and stir briefly
  • Next add salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander seeds, chilli and palm sugar, stir well
  • Add fresh mussels and shellfish to the pot, blend them with the sauce, cover with lid and let the stew simmer for 7 minutes
  • Add the vinegar, sea lettuce and the defrosted mixed seafood, mix well, cover with lid and let the stew gently simmer for another 10 minutes

Serve "Cape Town Seafood Stew" as is or with steamed white rice.

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Recipe (Chowder)

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