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San Diego Fisherman’s Chili

Eat Wisconsin Fish / San Diego Fisherman’s Chili

(Great Lakes substitution: any firm fish plus shellfish)


2 tbls olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 medium jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ pounds of firm fish cut into bite-size pieces
1 pound of shellfish


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbls chopped chipotle chilies in adobo, plus 1 tbls adobo from the same can
2 (12-ounce) bottles of beer
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp salt
½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime


If need be, fillet and cut up the fish, and boil and pick the shellfish meat ahead of time. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to make chili. If frozen, thaw before use.

For the seafood, put oil, cumin, chili powder, jalapeños, and garlic into a large bowl and whisk to make a marinade. Add the fish and shellfish and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the chili.

For the chili, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large stockpot, over medium heat. Add onions, celery, leeks and peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, chipotle chilies and adobo sauce and continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Add beer, broth, beans and salt. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

In a separate saucepan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add marinated seafood and cook for approximately 2 minutes, until the fish turns opaque. Add seafood and any pan juices to the pot with the chili mixture. Continue cooking for approximately 10 more minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Adapted from a California Sea Grant recipe