A Stimulating Recipe for Valentine’s

Includes a precious spice that increases sexual desire

This succulent seafood stew will not only get your taste buds excited. It contains saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, an aphrodisiac and proven performance booster. A research team from University of Guelph confirmed the precious spice’s effect on sexual desire. A Rosé or Cabernet may be a good choice for wine pairing.

This recipe comes from Cookspiration, created by Dietitians of Canada.

Prawn Bouillabaisse

Makes 8 servings


1 tbsp canola oil 15 mL
1 tbsp butter 15 mL
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed 5 mL
1 leek, white part only, finely sliced 1
1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped 1
1 cup chopped onion 250 mL
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
2 tbsp tomato paste 25 mL
1/2 tsp dried thyme 2 mL
1 cup dry white wine 250 mL
4 Roma tomatoes, diced 4
2 cans (14oz/398mL) clam juice 2
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley 60 mL
pinch saffron threads pinch
Zest of 1 small orange
1 lb skinless white fish fillets (haddock, cod, halibut), cubed 500 g
1 package (12 oz/340g) wild British Columbia spot prawns, peeled and deveined 1
pinch salt pinch
Freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

In a large soup pot, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add leeks, onion and fennel and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and thyme and sauté another 2 minutes.

Step 2

Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Stir in tomatoes, clam juice, parsley, saffron and orange zest; cover and bring to a boil. Stir in fish and boil for 2 minutes. Stir in prawns and boil for 2 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork and prawns are pink and opaque. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.


  • If you can’t find spot prawns, use medium shrimp (size 31 to 35).
  • To thaw prawns, place the frozen package in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Have everything prepped before you start cooking, as the ingredients need to be added to the pot quickly in this dish.
  • Leeks can harbor a lot of dirt and sand between the layers, so be sure to wash them well.

Megan Scully is a registered dietitian at Medcan.

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