Chilpachole (Seafood Stew)


Our Chipachole (Seafood Stew) recipe is an authentic and flavorful Mexican dish that combines the unique flavors from poblano pepper, dried oregano, fresh cilantro and a wide-variety of seafood and vegetables.

Chilpachole (Seafood Stew) with french bread
Photo: Karla Conrad
Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
26 mins
Soak Time:
45 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Stand Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 21 mins


  • 12 ounce fresh or frozen medium shrimp

  • 8 ounce fresh or frozen tilapia or other white-flesh fish

  • 2 fresh poblano chile peppers

  • 8 ounce fresh or frozen bay scallops

  • 8 ounce mussels or clams

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (1 large)

  • 1 cup finely chopped celery (2 stalks)

  • ½ cup chopped carrot (1 medium)

  • 4 8 ounce bottles clam juice

  • 2 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 2 cup vegetable juice or tomato juice

  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped*

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 ½ teaspoon anise seeds, crushed

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • Salt

  • Lime wedges

  • Bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)

  • Garlic bread (optional)


  1. Thaw shrimp, fish, and scallops, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp; halve shrimp lengthwise. Rinse shrimp, fish, and scallops; pat dry with paper towels. Cut fish into 1-inch pieces. Set shrimp, fish, and scallops aside. Using a stiff brush, scrub mussels or clams under cold running water; remove beards from mussels, if present. Combine 8 cups water and 3 tablespoons salt. Add mussels or clams; soak for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse. Discard water. Repeat soaking, draining, and rinsing two more times.

  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut poblano chile peppers in half lengthwise; remove stems, seeds, and membranes.* Place pepper halves, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until skins are charred and peppers are very tender. Bring foil up around peppers and fold edges together to enclose. Let stand about 15 minutes or until cool enough handle. Using a sharp knife, loosen edges of skins; gently pull off skins in strips and discard. Chop the poblano peppers; set aside.

  3. In a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add onion, celery, and carrot; cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in clam juice, tomatoes, vegetable juice, jalapeño chile pepper, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, and anise seeds. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in chopped poblano peppers and cilantro. Discard bay leaves. Season to taste with salt.

  4. Add shrimp, fish, scallops, and mussels or clams to the clam juice mixture. Cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until shrimp are opaque and mussels or clams open. Discard any unopened mussels or clams.

  5. Ladle stew into bowls. Garnish with lime wedges. If desired, serve with hot pepper sauce and garlic bread.

Editor's Note:

Use at least three types of seafood, buying what's freshest from the seafood monger: Clams, calamari, sea scallops, and crab all work in this stew.


Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

203 Calories
5g Fat
18g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 203
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 82mg 27%
Sodium 1595mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 102.2mg 511%
Calcium 111.1mg 9%
Iron 9.9mg 55%
Potassium 781mg 17%
Folate, total 60.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 4.8mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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