Bouillabaisse, bok choi and saffron aioli

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Mark Jordan's interpretation of the classical French fish soup is a beautiful starter. He has fine-tuned and finessed the classic bouillabaisse recipe, whilst remaining true to its roots as a real celebration of local seafood.

First published in 2015





Veal jus

Saffron aioli

To plate


  • Fine sieve
  • Heavy based pan


For the langoustines, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Place the langoustine carcasses in a tray and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. Set to one side until needed
For the saffron aioli, place the saffron stamens in the lemon juice and leave to infuse
Place the egg yolk and garlic into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Slowly add the lemon and saffron mix, whisking all the time, followed by the olive oil, making sure not to split the aioli. If it looks like its beginning to split, whisk in a little chilled water and it should come back together. Check the seasoning and place in a squeezy bottle
For the bouillabaisse, place the shallots, garlic and star anise into a heavy-bottomed pan with a little vegetable oil and sauté until soft, then add the brandy and reduce until syrupy; add the tomato purée and mix well together cooking for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until step 10
For the veal jus, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Place the bones into a high-sided roasting tray and place into the oven until golden brown, around 30 minutes
Remove the bones from the tray and place into a large stock pan. Peel and chop the vegetables and add them along with the bay leaf to the roasting tray used for the bones
Place the pan containing the vegetables onto the heat and stir around until they start to turn brown then add the tomato purée and the wine. Stir this together well and then add to the bones
Top the saucepan up until the water just covers the bones and gently bring the stock up to the boil, skimming with a ladle all the time to remove any impurities that float to the top. Gently simmer the stock for 8 hours, skimming all the time
Pass the stock through a fine sieve or muslin if you have it and pour the liquid back into a clean saucepan. Reduce slowly until the liquid is a gravy consistency. Reserve in the fridge (it will keep for 4 to 5 days) or freezer until needed
Transfer the roast langoustine carcasses into the pan from the shallots in step 4 and add 250ml of veal jus, fish stock and thyme, and leave to simmer on a gentle heat for around 1½ hours, every now and then removing any impurities which float to the top with a ladle
  • 250ml of fish stock
  • 1 sprig of thyme
Pass the stock through a fine sieve into another thick-bottomed pan and add the double cream. Bring to the boil, season and adjust the taste with lemon juice. Set this bouillabaise to one side
To serve, place the bok choi into a saucepan of boiling salted water for 1 minute until soft but still bright green, then remove from the water and set to one side
In a non-stick pan add a few drops of vegetable oil and gently place the nuggets of fish and langoustine tails (skin-side down first for the fish) in the pan and sauté until golden brown on either side – this should take no more than 2 minutes. Season the fish with salt and lemon juice and remove from the pan
Arrange the nuggets in a circle into the centre of the hot serving soup bowls. Place a couple of pieces of bok choi in the centre of the plate. Top with some caviar and baby cress. Squeeze around some saffron aioli
Pour the bouillabaisse into a jug and add to the bowls at the table

Mark Jordan made his name as head chef of one of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in Jersey.

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