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The Pumphouse Seafood Chowder, Fairbanks, Alaska: Creamy, Briny Goodness

Creamy Pumphouse Chowder, Fairbanks, AlaskaThe Pumphouse Restaurant and Saloon serves this rich, delectable seafood chowder. Frankly, it’s the very best seafood chowder we’ve ever tasted. We think you’ll agree.

Editor’s note: When I tested this recipe, I was cleaning out my freezer, which had plenty of frozen salmon, rock fish, razor clams, halibut cheeks, etc., in need of being used. Rather than run to the store to buy the scallops and shrimp called for in the original recipe, I used what I had and it was equally delicious. So use the seafood you have on hand.

Recipe courtesy The Pumphouse Restaurant and Saloon, Fairbanks, Alaska. www.pumphouse.com/‎

Pumphouse deck, Fairbanks, Alaska

During the summer, the deck at the Pumphouse overlooking the Chena River is a great place to enjoy a meal.

1 ½ cup diced onion (1/2 inch dice)
¾ cup celery (1/2 inch dice)
½ cup carrots (1/2 inch dice)
2/3 cup butter
1 cup flour
2 oz. fish base
1 cup water
10 oz. salmon
10 oz. halibut
6 oz. bay scallops
14 oz. canned chopped clams with juice
10 oz. red potatoes (3/4 inch dice and cooked)
1 tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. cayenne
1 ½ tsp. basil dried (or 3 tsp. fresh)
1 ½ tsp. thyme dried (or 3 tsp. fresh)
1 ½ tsp. chopped garlic
6 oz cocktail shrimp
3 cups heavy cream

In a 4 quart pot, cook first three ingredients in butter until translucent.

Add flour to make roux. Cook 5 minutes.

Add raw seafood, water, fish base, clam juice (saving clams for later).

Add potatoes and seasoning, cook on medium heat, stirring often until fish is cooked.

Add heavy cream, add shrimp, and clam meat, cook 10 minutes.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Serving note: If you’d like to serve the chowder in a bread bowl like they do at the Pumphouse, buy small cannon ball French breads, scoop out most of the inside, and fill with chowder.




Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at realfoodtraveler.com.


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