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James Strawbridge’s Cornish Chowder Recipe

A hearty seafood dish that’s perfect for autumn.

On a crisp autumn day, there’s nothing better than a warming bowl of comfort food. We caught up with chef and author James Strawbridge to discover his recipe for a hearty Cornish chowder with monkfish, clams and smoked haddock. 


 Serves 4
  • 1 fillet of monkfish tail, cut into medallions [approx. 400g]

  • 500g clams, steamed

  • 400g smoked haddock, roughly chopped into pieces

  • 250g smoked bacon lardons or diced pancetta

  • 8-12 new potatoes, finely diced

  • 2 sticks of celery, finely sliced

  • 2 corns on the cob

  • 1 leek, finely sliced

  • 1 pint of whole milk

  • 250ml fish stock

  • 150ml IPA beer

  • 1 tbsp clotted cream

  • 50g butter

  • 2-4 bay leaves

  • 2 tbsp curly leaf parsley, finely chopped, with extra to garnish

  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning [optional]

  • Large pinch of saffron

  • Handful of samphire

  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to season



  • Baguette 
  • Salted Butter


1. Prepare your fish by cutting into equal sized medallions and steaming your clams over boiling water for 3-4 mins until they all open.  

2. Preheat your BBQ grill and once the charcoal is a bed of glowing white embers, heat a large skillet or casserole dish. If cooking inside, then use a large saucepan on a medium to high heat.  

Melt your butter and sauté the celery, potato, and leek for 5 mins. Add in the smoked bacon, bay leaves, old bay spice, parsley, salt and pepper, stirring well. Cook the bacon with the veg for a further 5 minutes so that it all starts to caramelise.  

3. Chargrill your corn over hot coals to one side of the chowder pot until soft and the kernels start to blacken. If you’re cooking indoors, then parboil the cobs for 3-4 mins before draining and cooking under a hot grill for extra flavour.  Then strip the cob to add to your chowder.  

4. Pour in beer to deglaze the pot followed by a generous pinch of saffron, milk and fish stock. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until the potato softens and then add all your seafood. Cook until all seafood is ready – the largest piece of smoked haddock starts to flake and the monkfish texture tightens.  

5. Finish with a dollop of clotted cream stirred into the chowder and throw in a handful of samphire. Season to taste. 

6. Serve with a warm baguette and extra parsley. 

We’d love to see what variations you make on the original recipe using your own local ingredients. Share with us on social media by tagging us @SeasaltCornwall


James’ new book, Salt and the Art of Seasoning, is available to buy now. You can also follow him on Instagram.   

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