Chef's Corner: Fiona Lewis' poached shellfish salad with fennel, apple, and thyme - Oceana
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October 20, 2022

Chef’s Corner: Fiona Lewis’ poached shellfish salad with fennel, apple, and thyme


In 1976, the United States Congress passed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) to establish federal management of the nation’s fisheries and restrict fishing activities in U.S. waters. The law, which has undergone numerous changes in its 42-year history, has reversed the declining trend and helped rebuild dozens of fish stocks.

Today, Oceana and its allies work with policymakers to protect the integrity of the MSA and guard against attacks from those who want to weaken the law.

Chef Fiona Lewis, an Oceana ally, said, “By protecting these federal laws, not only are we protecting recreational fisher people who want to go out and have fun on the ocean like I do, we’re also protecting those commercial fish families because that’s ultimately what we have to remember they usually are.”

Lewis operates the District Fishwife, a full-service fishmonger that bring fresh and sustainable seafood to the Washington, DC metro area. “To me, sustainability is really important because I have a young family. And I want my family growing up to be able to eat and love the seafood that I’ve grown up with my whole life,” Lewis added.

Poached Shellfish Salad with Fennel, Apple and Thyme

Recipe by Fiona Lewis @DCFishwife
Serves 2

Time: 30 minutes

For the poaching broth
3 cups shrimp stock, can substitute clam juice
1 tablespoon table salt
1 cup dry white wine
4 sprigs of thyme
1/4 stick of unsalted butter

For the dressing
1/4 cup EVOO
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
A pinch of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon of picked thyme leaves
1 tablespoon of capers minced
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
2 tablespoons of lemon juice

8 little neck clams
½ lb muscles (optional)
6 pieces 10/20 size dry scallops
8 pieces of 16/20 shrimp peeled
1/2 a fennel bulb shaved or thinly sliced on a mandolin reserve some fronds for serving
1/2 a Bibb lettuce or romaine lettuce
1/4 Fuji or honeycrisp apple sliced thin


  • In a small pot bring the poaching stock to a low simmer. Add the clams and set a timer for four minutes, keep on a low simmer at the four-minute mark add the mussels and watch the pot as the clams and mussels open sufficiently (within the next minute or so).
  • Remove them and set them aside on a plate to cool. Discard any clams or mussels that didn’t open.
  • Add the scallops to the poaching liquid, set a timer for one minute. Then add the shrimp and set another timer for 1 minute.
  • When timer goes off remove the scallops and shrimp and allow to cool with the mussels and clams. Remove all the shells from the mussels and clams.
  • Leave the seafood on a plate to cool down to room temperature.
  • For the dressing combine all ingredients in a container and shake vigorously.
  • To assemble, place lettuce on the plate, scatter the apple around followed by the fennel. Once the seafood has reached room temperature, plate the seafood and drizzle with dressing and garnish with remaining fennel fronds.

*Ask your local fishmonger about how to source seafood sustainably, or consult a sustainability guide such as

Fiona Lewis operates The District Fishwife with her partner Ben Friedman in Washington, DC. Fiona and Ben share a passion for all things aquatic and a commitment to promoting healthy and abundant oceans for future generations. Fiona Lewis is the founder and co-owner of three businesses in DC’s Union Market: The District Fishwife, On Toast, and Son of a Fish. She is a nationally recognized expert on sustainable seafood, conservation of local fish species, and an advocate for regional fisheries.