Meghan Markle shares her key ingredient for favourite seafood dish ‘Fresh and hearty!’

Meghan Markle blogged about Cambridges' wedding on 'The Tig'

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One thing you might not know about Meghan Markle is that she loves to cook – or so she said when she was still an actress. While the Duchess of Sussex is said to be health conscious, she loves to share a bowl of chips and enjoy a glass of wine now and again. But what would she cook if she was hosting a dinner party? A fish stew – but the quality of ingredients is important. Here’s how to make Cioppino inspired by Meghan. 

Cioppino is a fish stew that originates from San Francisco, California. 

It is an Italian-American dish and is related to various regional fish soups and stews of Italian cuisine. 

The main ingredients are seafood – crap, clams, shrimps, scallops, squid, mussels, and white fish – tomatoes and wine.

The dish is the ultimate guilt-free comfort food, and it’s high in protein and low in calories depending on what is served with it. 

As for why it is popular with Meghan, she previously explained what her go-to meals are. 

She explained: “I love food. Unapologetically so.

“My favourite foods run the gamut from healthy to indulgent, but rest assured, they are always delicious.” 

The former Suits actress added: “I love seafood. 

“For that reason, I have become fairly savvy at making easy seafood dishes that please most palates. 

“It’s all about the quality of the fish (fresh, fresh, fresh), and keeping the ingredients simple and clean. 

“For dinner parties, I love making an easy cioppino using shrimp, mussels, clams and a hearty fish that won’t fall apart easily. 

“You can play around with your seafood stew recipe (maybe add some saffron if you’re feeling adventurous).”

Meghan suggested to to serve the dish with “a warm baguette and a crisp salad”. 

How to make San Fransisco-style Cioppino

The recipe from Food Network serves four, takes 45 minutes to prepare, one hour and 10 minutes to cook and is difficulty rating easy. 

Ingredients – for the stew base 

Three tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

180g sliced onion

Two tbsps minced garlic

Salt and freshly ground pepper

55g tomato puree

240ml dry white wine

1.1kg vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

One red sweet pepper, trimmed, seeded, and diced

Two tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley leaves

One tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves

One bay leaf

700ml fish stock or 240ml bottled clam broth mixed with 475ml chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium store-bought

15g julienned fresh basil leaves

Ingredients – for the seafood 

12 littleneck clams

One cooked Dungeness crab, chopped into large pieces, or two Alaskan king crab claws, cracked and quartered

12 mussels

450g large prawns, butterflied in the shell, and deveined

225g cleaned squid, cut into rings, and tentacles halved

225g sea scallops, trimmed, or firm-fleshed fish, like halibut, cut into two centimetres cubes

Serving suggestion: hot crusty sourdough bread


1. To make the stew base, heat a large stew pot or Dutch oven over medium heat with olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about five minutes.

2. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook for two minutes more. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another one minute. Add the wine, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits in the pot. Simmer the wine until reduced by about half.

3. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf and cook for five minutes. Add the fish stock or clam broth and chicken stock; bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook the base, with a cover slightly ajar, for 30 minutes. (The base may be prepared ahead up to this point, refrigerated for one day or frozen for one month).

 4. To finish the cioppino, bring the base to a simmer. Add the basil and the clams, and cook covered, over high heat, for five minutes, or just until the clams open. Add the crab and cook for one minute. Add the mussels, prawns, squid, and scallops. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mussels open, the prawns curl, and squid and scallops are just firm, this should take about three minutes. Serve in large heated bowls with plenty of crusty bread. 

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