Bullinada (Catalan Fish Stew With Aioli)

Bullinada (Catalan Fish Stew With Aioli)

Bullinada is a creamy Catalonian seafood stew infused with saffron and garlicky mayonnaise, and brimming with potatoes. This version, made entirely from fish fillets rather than a combination of fish and seafood, is adapted from the cookbook “Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean.” Ms. Roden writes that “it has a mysterious, delicate flavor and beautiful warm color,” and that you can make it mostly in advance. Just add the fish a few minutes before serving so you can be sure it won’t overcook.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onions, stirring occasionally, and cook until they begin to soften, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly golden, 1 minute.
  2. Step 2

    Stir in saffron, and pour in fish stock and wine. Add potatoes, fennel seeds, orange peel, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 25 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  3. Step 3

    Season fish with salt and pepper. Remove orange peels from soup and add fish. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until fish is opaque and flaky, 4 to 14 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Using a metal spatula or knife, break the fish into chunks.
  4. Step 4

    In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, remaining garlic and Aleppo pepper. Slowly stir in a ladle of hot stock into mayonnaise mixture. Gently stir mayonnaise mixture into simmering soup. Heat through, without reaching a boil (the mayonnaise will curdle). Stir in parsley and taste, adding more salt if you’d like. When serving, garnish with more parsley and Aleppo.