Pacific Coast Seafood Chowder

Pacific Coast Seafood Chowder ~ Why Pacific Coast?
Because that's where I am, and where my seafood for this chowder is from. :)
Growing up on the Peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area, we were surrounded by water; the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Naturally, since my dad was an avid boats man and fisherman, the fish he caught was on the table frequently (sometimes it seemed TOO often for us kids.)
From the bay we usually had Sea Bass. Other times he would take family and friends on overnight excursions out in the Pacific through the Golden Gate for Salmon, Rock Fish, Snapper and the like. Another treat was fresh, trap-caught Dungeness crab.
The bass was either baked or poached. Rock Fish and Snapper were usually pan-fried.
Years ago our summer vacations were spent on the boat in the Sacramento River Delta, then we would occasionally have big fish frys (usually catfish) with friends from other boats. While there we would catch bass, often crayfish/crawdads, once in a while carp, and less frequently, sturgeon. I don't remember eating the carp or sturgeon.
Salmon was fixed a number of ways; broiled, baked, poached, steamed or grilled. My French grandfather would sometimes gently poach the most lovely salmon cheeks and serve them with lemony-garlic butter, or his silky hollandaise. YUM! And, because the salmon was so plentiful, mom and dad brined and moist-smoked a good portion of it for our own enjoyment, and as gifts for family and friends.
That was always a great treat, and everyone always looked forward to receiving filets of freshly smoked succulent salmon.

Of all the fish we had though, the ONLY way I remember my folks making seafood chowder was the brothy tomato based style (similar to Manhattan clam chowder.) I still like that style very much, but I also like seafood chowder prepared this way, too. No long simmering either, so it can be on the table in well under an hour, but it's great when reheated as well.
Recipes for this kind of creamy chowder are made using generally the same method ~ however I devised this one because I wanted a recipe that was not too gloppy and thick as some tend to be so the seafood flavors are prominent. Milk replaces the cream (or half and half), though it does contain butter so it is not low fat.
One thing is for certain... it is very flavorful and it is my all-time favorite Seafood Chowder. The perfect thing to chase the chill on a damp, gray day.
If it sounds like something you might like I would love to share my recipe with you. If you try it, I hope you'll find it as enticing as we do.
You can find it HERE on my recipe blog.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


  1. ciao! splendide foto e splendida ricetta! complimenti!

  2. Mari, this chowder looks so good and your presentation is spectacular! Great recipe. Many thanks...

  3. This chowder looks so yummy. I don't like chowders too gloppy either. I grew up in New England and I love fish chowders!

  4. This looks delicious. I have been looking for a recipe that highlights shrimp, clams and white fish. This will be quite tasty! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Just looking at the tableware makes me hungry...beautifully presented and the chowder looks very very yum!

  6. Chowder looks delicious and creamy......

  7. Happy Birthday, Mari! (Nana told us)

    You were so lucky to grow up in such a lovely area of the country. The only seafood we caught in Ohio was perch from Lake Erie. Its delicious battered & pan fried but I think I'll enjoy your chowder even more. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I hope to try it soon.
    I your photographs!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  8. I'm a Pacific Coast girl too and love all the seafood available to us. Fish chowder is a favorite here, especially on our cold, rainy days. Thanks for sharing this, Mari.

  9. Mari, this is BEAUTIFULLY prepared and presented. Absolutely awesome. And boy does it look rich and delicious!

  10. This looks delicious! Beautifully presented, too!

  11. I just made this chowder for my family tonight using clams and wild Pacific salmon. It was really yummy. I left out the bacon and used "healthy" margarine instead of butter for the sake of my health-conscious husband. I'm sure it would have been better with the bacon, but it was fine without it. Thanks.

  12. BBG, Thank you so much for letting me know!


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