Springy fish stew

Alison Roman's springy fish stew (prawns optional).
Alison Roman's springy fish stew (prawns optional). Photo: William Meppem

Any firm white fish can be used, while prawns add a flavour and colour boost. As the liquid reduces, flavours intensify, so check seasoning regularly.


50ml olive oil 

250g leeks, thinly sliced 

small fennel bulb, thinly sliced 

salt, freshly ground pepper 

60ml dry white wine 

500ml water or vegie stock

240ml heavy cream 

800g blue-eye trevalla or other firm white fish, each cut into 4 equal portions 

200g green prawns, peeled

150g shelled peas or thinly sliced asparagus 

75g mixed herbs, such as parsley, dill, mint or chives 

1 lemon, for zest and juice

chilli flakes, optional


Step 1

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add leeks and the fennel.

Step 2

Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are bright green and starting to brown and fennel is completely tender, about eight to 10 minutes.

Step 3

Add white wine and cook until almost evaporated, about three minutes.

Step 4

Add water (or stock), cream and season. Bring to a simmer and continue to gently cook until flavours have come together, about five to eight minutes. 

Step 5

Add fish, nestling each piece until submerged. Cover the pot and gently cook for five minutes. 

Step 6

Add the prawns and vegetables and gently cook until fish and prawns are cooked through and the vegetables are bright green and tender, about two minutes. Remove from heat. 

Step 7

To serve, toss herbs with a bit of lemon zest, juice and season. Ladle the stew into bowls and top with the herb mix and sprinkle with more pepper and chilli flakes, if using.

Serve with: Alison Roman's crushed, buttered potatoes