English English | ()
Available languages French French German German Spanish Spanish Italian Italian
Available currencies EUR (€) GBP (£) USD ($)

Seafood Dishes of France

With over 3,000km of coastline, which borders the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, there is little surprise that seafood makes up a large part of the French diet. The most popular fish eaten in France are Salmon, Cod and Coley, however, there are a number of other sea fish that are readily available for purchase in a French fish market. Sea Bass, Plaice, Conger Eel, Sea Bream, Sea Snails, Skate, Rascasse, Red Snapper and Scallops are all common finds in most areas of France.

With such a wide variety of fish on offer, it is unsurprising that the French have created some of the best known fish dishes in the world -

Bisque

Bisque

Bisque is a smooth creamy shellfish soup. Usually made from crab, lobster, crayfish or shrimp, it is thickened by the addition of rice, which may either be removed after cooking, or pureed to become part of the soup. Bisque is heavily seasoned with a wide variety of herbs and spices, and most recipes seem to agree that bisque should contain, alongside its shellfish ingredients, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, bay leaves and cream. Many recipes also include white wine, sherry or both. A delicious rich treat.

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

Probably the best known of all French fish dishes, bouillabaisse is a fish stew which originates from Marseille. The popular dish comprises at least three kinds of fish, normally red rascasse, sea robin and European conger. Other fish may also be used, either in place of or as well as these ingredients. It is not unusual to find a bouillabaisse which contains turbot, bream, monkfish, mussels, crab or even octopus, and for an added touch of luxury, lobster may be included as well. Vegetables such as leeks, onions, tomatoes, celery and potatoes are also among the ingredients. But it is the addition of Provencal herbs and spices which gives the broth its distinctive flavour.

Bouillabaisse derives its name from the way in which the stew is prepared. Before the fish are added the remaining ingredients are brought to the boil, then the fish are placed into the pot one by one, the pot being returned to the boil and then the heat lowered, after each fish. Often the dish is separated when serving, first as a soup, accompanied by bread and rouille, a type of garlic flavoured mayonnaise, and then the fish and vegetables served separately afterwards. A delightful taste sensation, bouillabaisse is at its very best when enjoyed in its home region of Provence.

Similar in composition to Bouillabaisse, Bourride is a fish soup which is particularly common in Toulon. It is prepared with steamed white fish, mackerel, wolf fish, whiting and monkfish. These are added to freshly boiled vegetable and seasoned. Bourride is traditionally served with garlic croutons, and is very popular among the locals.

Brandade de Morue

Brandade de Morue

This traditional salt cod dip is a speciality of the Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence regions. It takes several days to prepare and is popular in French homes in the winter months. Dispute rages over whether or not potatoes should be included in the recipe, however as potatoes are often served as an accompaniment, there is little necessity to include them unless you so desire.

Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Coquilles Saint-Jacques, Scallops to those of us from the UK, are a highly prized dish in France, so much so, that for one weekend in April each year, Brittany holds the Fête de la Coquille Saint-Jacques.

There are numerous methods of serving the seafood delicacy, Coquilles Saint-Jacques Parisienne for example is scallops with mushrooms and white wine. Coquilles Saint-Jacques au Gratin is a traditional recipe where scallops are served in a predominantly onion and white wine sauce.

Cotriade

Cotriade

Often called Brittany fish stew in the UK, Cotriade is a traditional fish stew which is commonly served in the north of France. Cotriade differs from Bouillabaisse in that it does not contain any shellfish. Traditionally Cotriade is served over a toasted French baguette.

Lobster Thermidor

Lobster Thermidor

Lobster Thermidor was first served in 1894 at Marie’s restaurant in Paris. Named in honour of Thermidor, a play which was running at the nearby Comédie-Française theatre, the dish proved to be a hit, and it has been popular in restaurants worldwide ever since.

Because of the length of time it takes to prepare Lobster Thermidor, it is generally only consumed on special occasions. Consisting of lobster in a creamy sauce, which includes egg yolks, mustard, and cognac or brandy, the meal is served in a lobster shell making for impressive presentation.

Moules Marinières

Moules Marinières

Mussels are popular across France when they are in season. In fact, you are unlikely to find a brasserie that does not serve at least one mussel dish, and most often this will be Moules Marinières.

Moules Marinières is a simple French classic which requires little preparation. Cooked in white wine with onions, mustard and just a dash of cream the mussels are presented, still in their shells, and covered with the tasty sauce.

Salad Niçoise

Salad Niçoise

Capitalising on the local produce, Salad Niçoise is a crisp salad which contains tuna, green beans, boiled eggs, olives, artichokes and red peppers. Often found on the menu in its home town of Nice, the popular dish is a bright and tasty example of the diversity of flavours in the local area.

Sole Normande

Sole Normande

Although the name indicates that this dish originated in the Normandy region of France, there are some who will argue that it is, in fact, the brain child of Marie-Antoine Carême, who is widely recognised as one of the first celebrity chefs.

Sole Normande is a simple dish usually containing Sole, Mussels, Shrimp and Mushrooms along with Shallots and white wine. If presented correctly, it is one of the most stunning fish dishes which will ever arrive at your table.

The French passion for fine dining is evident in all of their cuisine, however the addition of regional herbs, local wines, garlic and onions means that ordering the same meal twice in different regions could lead to two delightfully different culinary experiences.

Find French
Holiday Homes In

£ 0
£ 0
0
0
0
0
Find My Holiday Home >

Join the Guest List

Your Email Address *
First Name
Last Name