Oyster Stew with Charred Fennel

Oyster Stew with Charred Fennel

Posted by Ekone on Mar 6th 2024

This hearty tomato and fennel stew is the perfect cozy vessel for our tinned habanero hot oysters. Saffron, a splash of dry white wine, and a good fish stock help evoke the classic flavors of a fisherman’s stew. While this dish is certainly a good fit for a warming winter meal, the brightness of its flavors make it just as suitable for any season.


15-20 saffron threads

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

½ large yellow onion, diced

½ cup fennel stalks, diced

Sea salt to season

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ cup dry white wine

3 cups fish stock, or vegetable stock

4-5 whole canned tomatoes, plus 1 cup of juice from the can

2-3 golf ball sized potatoes, cut into a ¼“ dice

1 bay leaf

1 large fennel bulb, sliced

2 tins Ekone habanero hot oysters

Fennel fronds to garnish


Place the saffron threads in a small bowl and cover with two tablespoons of water. Set aside to bloom.

In a saucepan set over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the diced onion and fennel stalks. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Cook until the onions and fennel stalks begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute or so. Deglaze the pan with the wine, allow it to come up to a simmer, and cook until the wine has reduced by about a third. Add the whole canned tomatoes and gently break them into bite size pieces with the back of a wooden spoon, then add the liquid from the tomato can alongside the fish stock. Add the potatoes, a bay leaf, and a generous pinch of salt to the pot. Bring this up to a gentle boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer until the flavors have melded and the potatoes are fork tender.

While the stew is bubbling away, caramelize the fennel. In a large frying pan set over medium high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sliced fennel bulb to the pan and spread the pieces out as best as you can to allow for proper browning. Season with a pinch of salt, and cook until the fennel is deeply caramelized and golden. Set aside until the stew is ready.

When the potatoes are fully cooked, add the tinned oysters and any liquid from the tins to the stew, alongside the saffron water and half of the caramelized fennel. Taste for seasoning and adjust with another pinch of salt if needed.

Serve the stew piping hot, topped with the remaining caramelized fennel and a handful of fennel fronds.