Deutsch: Bouillabaisse / Español: Bouillabaisse / Português: Bouillabaisse / Français: Bouillabaisse / Italiano: Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille, France. It is known for its rich flavor, which is derived from various kinds of fresh fish, shellfish, and other seafood, herbs, and spices simmered together with olive oil, onions, and tomatoes.


Bouillabaisse started as a stew made by Marseille fishermen using the bony rockfish which they were unable to sell to restaurants or markets. Over time, it has evolved into a more complex and refined dish that often includes seafood like sea urchins, octopus, and various types of shellfish, in addition to fish. The soup is traditionally seasoned with garlic, saffron, and fennel, among other herbs and spices, and is usually served with a rouille sauce—a mayonnaise made of olive oil, garlic, saffron, and chili peppers—spread on crusty bread.

Application Areas

Bouillabaisse is appreciated for its deep, aromatic flavors and is typically enjoyed as:

  • Main Course: A hearty, rich dish served as the centerpiece of a meal.
  • Social Dish: Often shared among several people and regarded as a convivial, communal meal ideal for social occasions.

Well-Known Examples

  • Classic Bouillabaisse: Includes at least three kinds of fish and various other seafood, simmered with a mixture of herbs and vegetables.
  • Modern Variations: Contemporary chefs might add exotic seafood and additional spices to create a unique twist on the traditional recipe.

Treatment and Risks

Bouillabaisse is generally a healthy dish that includes a variety of seafood known for being rich in vitamins and minerals:

  • Allergy Considerations: Shellfish and fish are common allergens, and care should be taken when preparing and serving bouillabaisse to guests with food allergies.
  • Food Safety: As with all dishes involving seafood, it is crucial to use fresh ingredients and proper cooking techniques to avoid foodborne illnesses.


Here’s a simplified recipe for making traditional bouillabaisse:

  • Ingredients:

  • Method:

    • In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until softened.
    • Add tomatoes, fennel, bay leaf, orange zest, saffron, fish stock, and wine. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
    • Add the fish and shellfish to the pot. Cook until the seafood is just done, about 10 minutes.
    • Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with crusty bread and rouille sauce.

Similar Terms

  • Seafood stew
  • Mediterranean cuisine
  • Provençal dishes
  • Fish soup
  • Marseille cuisine


Bouillabaisse is a celebrated seafood stew that originated in Marseille, France. Known for its rich, aromatic broth and variety of fresh seafood, it is a quintessential example of Mediterranean and Provençal culinary traditions. Bouillabaisse is not only a delicious meal but also an experience in communal dining, often enjoyed with family and friends.


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