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    Marmitako Recipe, Basque fish stew, Basque country recipes Basque Recipes, Recipes, Spanish Soups & Stews 5 1 5 0

    Marmitako (Basque Tuna Stew)

    • Serves 4 people
    • Complexity Easy
    Prep time
    15 mins
    Cook time
    40 mins
    Total time
    55 mins
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    • To make the Marmitako:
    • 500g fresh tuna
    • 2 large red onions, finely chopped
    • 2 green peppers, finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1kg of russet potatoes, peeled
    • 3 pimientos choriceros soaked in hot water or 3 tsp of pimiento choricero puree
    • 1 tbsp of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
    • Salt
    • For the tuna stock:
    • 1/2kg of bones and skin from the tuna
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
    • 1 leek, finely sliced
    • 6 button mushrooms, finely sliced
    • Few parsley stalks


    The origins of this fish soup or stew come from the Basque fishing boats, where the appointed cook had to be original and feed everyone with the left overs and trimmings of the day’s work. The name marmitako comes from the word ‘marmita’, a casserole dish used on the fish boats to be able to cook for hungry fishermen. The recipe has developed with time to become more refine but the basics of potatoes and bonito tuna are still there.


    1.  Remove the skin and bones from the tuna. Place these into a strainer and rinse to remove any scales or blood.
    2.  Make a fish stock by sweating gently with a drop of olive oil all the vegetables for 5 minutes, add the fish bones and cover with water. Bring to the boil, skim all impurities and simmer for twelve minutes, strain through a fine sieve and set aside.
    3.  Chop the red onion and green peppers finely, cut the potatoes into irregular 4cm chunks. The best way is to cut into the potato and then break it off with the knife as this helps release the starch which in turn will help thicken the stew.
    4.  Pour 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil into a large pot, heat slowly and add the red onion and green peppers, when the onion is soft add the potatoes and stir with a wooden spoon, cook slowly for 5 minutes to allow the potatoes to release their starch.
    5.  Place a fine strainer over the pot and pour the fish stock to cover the potatoes, if necessary add a little water. Bring to the boil and cook on a moderate heat moving the pot now and again for the potatoes to thicken the stew. Season with salt and add the pimiento choricero.
    6.  The potatoes should take about 15 minutes to cook at a slow heat. Cut the tuna into one 2cm chunks, once the potatoes are cooked add the fish and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot and leave for 5 minutes to rest. Serve immediately.

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