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An Authentic and Traditional Seafood Chowder

 

Irish Seafood Chowder: A traditional Irish delicacy that never fails to disappoint!

This traditional hearty soup has been a feature in Irish life for as long as village communities have subsisted on the fisherman's catch landed along the wild shores of the Atlantic Coast. The memorable mix of fresh haddock, salmon, and shrimp (or prawns as we call them in Ireland) is nicely balanced out with seasonal veggies such as leeks, carrots, and potatoes. The sauce of fish stock and cream brings a flavourful and comforting warmth that refreshes the soul. Unlike the American versions of chowder, this more authentic recipe has less cream, allowing for the other true flavours to show through. Ireland is known for it's seafood, and this delicious chowder is a prime example of Irish cooking using fresh ingredients from nature to create a wholesome meal enjoyed by many all across the island. This is why you can find it at local pubs all around Ireland 

Because we are an island, it is only natural that seafood would be a staple of our food culture. This delectable meal in a bowl would be a favourite in Irish homes made with the catch of the day straight from the small fishing boats that would brave the coasts every day to feed hungry mouths. Made with only the freshest ingredients, this chowder made living off the land an enjoyable and appetizing experience. Simple and quick, this chowder is perfect for large families and will be enjoyed by generations to come, as it has been in Ireland! If you'd like to experience real cultural Irish cuisine, here's the recipe!

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 1/2 lb of fish (e.g. 1/4 lb salmon, 1/4 lb smoked haddock)
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
  • 1 potato, diced small
  • 1 carrot, diced small
  • 1 stick celery, diced small
  • 1 small leek, finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups fish stock (see recipe)
  • 1/4 lb cooked and peeled medium size shrimp
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 5 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method:

  1. Using a fish tweezers, pin bone and remove the skin from the fish, before cutting the flesh into chunks, refrigerate.
  2. Melt the butter in medium saucepan and on a low to medium heat, sweat the potato, carrot, celery and leek for 10 minutes, using a cartouche (paper lid pressed down on top of the vegetables).  Season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally.
  3. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins.
  4. Raise the heat, then, gradually add in the stock, stirring well to avoid lumps forming, bring to the boil.
  5. Add in the fish (except the shrimp as they will shrivel up, if overcooked) and simmer for a further 5 mins until the fish is cooked.
  6. Next stir in the cream and check seasoning once again. Just before serving stir in the cooked prawns and the chopped parsley.  Serve with a pinch of paprika on top. 

If you liked this recipe, why not take a look at our ONLINE Ultimate Irish Cooking Course?  This at-your-own-pace on demand course is full of more traditional authentic Irish recipes like this one. Get a taste of the Emerald Isle at home!

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