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Alaska Fisherman's Chowder

This is a good base for a wide variety of chowder possibilities, depending on what you like and whats available at your local market. We began with Alaska regulars salmon, king crab and halibut, then add clams. You can add any number of favorite fish or shellfish, including snapper, monkfish and shucked oysters, or halve the recipe and use only one or two of the listed fish or shellfish. The chowder keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator and, like many hearty soups, tastes better on the second day.

Type: Fish, Shellfish
Courses: Soup
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

3/4 lb 340g / 11ozCod or halibut fillet
3/4 lb 340g / 11ozSalmon fillet
1 lb 454g / 16ozKing or snow crab legs
1 lb 454g / 16ozLive hardshell clams
5   Bacon slices - (to 6) - cut 1/2" pieces
1   Onion - finely chopped (medium)
1 lb 454g / 16ozRusset or baking potatoes - scrubbed, diced
  Salt - to taste
  Freshly-ground black pepper - to taste
2 cups 125g / 4.4ozFrozen corn kernels - thawed
3 cups 711mlFish stock or clam juice
3 cups 711mlHalf-and-half
2 tablespoons 30mlMixed chopped fresh herbs - (optional)

Recipe Instructions

Rinse the cod and salmon with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the fish into roughly 1 inch cubes. Break the crab legs into sections and lightly crack them, leaving them intact. Scrub the clam shells under cold water.

In a heavy soup pot, fry the bacon pieces, stirring occasionally, until they begin to curl and most of the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.

Use a large spoon to remove and discard all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the onion, potatoes, salt and pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are beginning to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the fish stock and half-and-half, bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add the fish pieces, crab legs, clams and corn and continue simmering until the fish flakes easily, the clams are open and the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Discard any clams that do not open.

If you like, stir in chopped fresh herbs just before serving. Pass a pepper mill at the table so each guest can top their chowder with freshly ground pepper.

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