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Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder excerpted from Good Catch by Valentine Thomas.

If there’s corn chowder on the menu, I’m ordering it. Especially when I am in Florida or in Montauk and it’s after a cold-water dive, this dish is the ultimate comfort food. It is also a fantastic way to use your leftover fish! You made mussels the night before? Throw ’em in! This version is modeled after what I believe to be the ultimate chowder: rich, creamy, kind of fatty, and a tad spicy. If you don’t use all the clam juice, make yourself a Bloody Caesar (aka the best cocktail ever: tomato juice, clam juice, spices, and vodka).

Corn Chowder recipe excerpted from Good Catch by Valentine Thomas. Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Corn Chowder

Valentine Thomas
Course Dinner, Lunch
Servings 6 people


For corn chowder

  • 1/4 pound pancetta or bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3/4 pound red baby potatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups Fish Stock or water
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Bahama Mama spice mix (see below)
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound flaky white fish, such as cod or mahi mahi, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves only, for garnish

For Bahama Mama spice mix

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin


  • In a large pot set over medium-high heat, add the pancetta (if using) and the butter and cook until the pancetta is almost crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onion, celery, and potatoes. Cook until the onions are almost translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the fish stock, clam juice, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and spice mix. Let the soup come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Add the corn, milk, cream, and cubed fish and mix well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer until it reaches a thick, luxurious consistency, about 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with the parsley before serving.


Good Catch by Valentine Thomas (© 2023). Photography by Andrew Thomas Lee. Published by Union Square & Co. Reprinted with permission from Good Catch by © Valentine Thomas. Published by Union Square & Co. Photography by Andrew Thomas Lee.
Keyword Bacon, Clam juice, Cod, Corn, Corn Chowder, Fish, Good Catch, Mahi mahi, Seafood, Valentine Thomas

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