Marmitako (Basque fish stew)

This wonderful Basque fish stew has a name that translates as ‘from the pot’. A traditional fisherman’s meal, here made with bonito, but you can also use tuna.

Unfortunately we are unable to add this recipe to your favourites, please try again later.


For the fumet (fish stock)

  • head and bones of the bonito (see below), or you can use hake or cod head and bones (you can get these from the fishmonger)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf

For the marmitako

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 large Italian red pepper (around 200g/7oz) very finely chopped
  • 200g/7oz padron pepper, very finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped with seeds removed
  • 5-6 ripe plum tomatoes, grated, to make a sauce
  • 2 dried choriceros peppers, soaked in water. Butterfly the peppers and scrape the paste from the inside with a spoon, leaving the skin (if you can’t get the peppers you can buy the paste)
  • 200ml/7fl oz Txakoli (a Basque wine), or other dry, slightly sparkling white wine
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks the same size as the fish
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 75ml/2½fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 2kg/4lb 8oz bonito (if you can’t get hold of one, use 1kg/2lb 4oz of fresh tuna) cut into large chunks
  • bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

For the baby gem salad

  • 150ml/5fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 50ml/2fl oz Moscatel vinegar
  • 1 shallot, very finely chopped
  • small bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • 3 sweet Basque piquillo peppers (from a jar), cut into strips
  • 2 heads of Little Gem, leaves only
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper