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Recipe for
Embracum Baianum
(Baian Stew)

by Apicius IX, XII, 431

Original: Embracum baianum: Ostreas minutas, sfondylos, urticas in caccabum mittes, nucleos tostos concisos, rutam, apium, piper, coriandrum, cuminum, passum, liquamen, caerotam, oleum.

Translation: Baian sauce: Into a pot put small oysters, mussels, jellyfish, chopped roasted pine nuts, rue, celery, pepper, coriander, cumin, passum, garum, dates, and oil.

A main seafood course to impress


  • 20 Oysters
  • 20 Venus Clams
  • 40 Mussels
  • 8 small squid cleaned and cut into thin rings
  • Rroasted pinenuts roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalk & tops finely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh rue (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 10 pitted dates, chopped
  • Garum
  • Passum
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper
  • Coriander
  • Cumin


  • Soak the oysters, clams and mussels (not the squid) in cold salted water for a few hours to force them to open and purge any sand inside. Change the water after the first hour.
  • Place the olive oil in a large sauce pan and add all the ingredients, except the wine, rue and passum and cook gently without burning.
  • After a few minutes of cooking raise the heat to full and add the drained and rinsed molluscs and squid and stir. Then add the white wine and allow to evaporate for a minute before adding the passum and rue.
  • Cover and cook on medium heat until the molluscs open and are cooked. (about 5 minutes should be enough) Season with pepper and serve.
  • You may wish to cut down on the amount of rue in this recipe and replace it with chopped coriander leaves or flat leaf parsley.
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