Eastern NC Fish Stew
I am giving you the recipe found on the Grifton, NC Shad Festival Fish Stew web site. They are the experts.
  1. Ingredients are seldom measured more or less of each ingredient can be used
  2. Fatback or slab bacon 1/2 lb
  3. White potatoes, peeled, sliced 5 lbs
  4. Onions, sliced 5 lbs
  5. Fish, cut in 2 inch pieces crossways 4 lbs
  6. through the back bone or fillets
  7. (rockfish, striped bass, puppy drum, catfish, whiting, pollock,
  8. lg mouth bass, etc, any firm fish)
  9. Salt & pepper To taste
  10. Crushed red pepper 1/2 tsp
  11. Tomato soup 1 can
  12. Eggs fresh 1 dozen minimum
  1. Fry bacon or fat back in the pot, remove meat and leave fat.
  2. Layer the ingredients starting with the onions then potatoes, fish, season with salt and peppers between layers, repeat until all ingredients are used. Fill with water until top layer is covered.
  3. Bring to a boil, turn heat to a medium and cook about 1-1/2 hours. DO NOT STIR. Shake the pot from time to time to keep the stew from sticking.
  4. About 20 minutes before the stew is done, add tomato soup and crack eggs into stew. Allow the eggs to cook in the liquid until the yolks are hard boiled. If using bacon, you can choose to toss it in at this time.
From The Chef To You http://fromthecheftoyou.com/
By | 2014-08-12T23:48:05+00:00 August 12th, 2014|Fish, Recipes, Seafood, Soups|7 Comments

About the Author:

I have been in the food business since 1975. This has been my passion and life’s ambition and have enjoyed every day of it. I’ve created this site to share my passion for cooking with those that love to cook and those that would like to learn.


  1. Harold November 2, 2015 at 2:09 am - Reply

    Its been a long time since I’ve cook this, but this recipe is as close to my remembrance as I’ve come. Will be trying it at our church’s fall festival this weekend. Y’all come. It’s about 12 miles east of Bath on South Savannah Road. Bethany United Methodist Church – you’ll love it.

  2. B. Leary December 16, 2016 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    Ran across this via a random search and wanted to comment. Grew up in a small fishing community on the Pamlico Sound in Eastern NC my entire life. This recipe is fairly close and it will vary depending on which ‘old timer’ you talk to. Some use tomato juice, some use tomato paste. I prefer to use paste and add it at the very beginning. It allows the paste to penetrate the potatoes and onions more and adds to the flavor of the soup IMO since paste is typically very salty. Having a thick pot coupled with low heat also helps alleviate the possibility of scorching the stew. We’ve cooked big stews before with thin “turkey fryer” pots and at the end there only be a potato or two be slightly stuck to the bottom of the pot. Low and slow heat is the key. The potatoes being soft to cut with a spoon will tell you when the stew is “done.” You can change this up a bit and put in semi-dried sausage early on (we use Stevens brand) and allow that to cook thoroughly. Shrimp can be substituted at the end as well…just don’t overcook. You sometimes can add the shrimp and remove the pot from the burner and the shrimp will cook just fine. Remember ‘C’ for cooked and ‘O’ for overcooked (the shrimp that is).

  3. Debra January 16, 2017 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    I was watching bizarre foods with Andrew Zimmerman and they made this fish stew , look so good ! I was searching the Internet for this recipe, thank you so much can’t wait to try it .

  4. Mike Barwick December 6, 2017 at 1:22 am - Reply

    Many of year as a kid spent in Grifton NC shad festival. My Uncle Dick Bates cooked this similar stew all the time and not necessarily for shad festival but just for a family and friend gathering. Picky eating kids even like this stuff. Thanks for the memories.

  5. Tim Daugherty December 14, 2017 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    yes- paste and the meat is fried crispy then rued with onion then dump the water, potatoes, and paste as it gets done poach eggs in top. Also if you toss my salt pork I’ll cut yo hands. the receipe above and the ones that are popular on the web are a little novice.

    a real expert.

  6. Tim Daugherty December 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    sorry – fish or seafood(any) is added near the end – no longer than it takes to cook conventionally.

    thx again,
    real expert

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