Use Fish Carcasses
This is a super easy fish stock recipe. Fish stock is a wealth of nutritious health basically made from the part of the fish we normally through away (at least in the United States). But, don’t throw out those bones, fins, heads, etc. – use them to make a delicious, healthy broth.
I know bone broth is all the rage right now. And, don’t get me wrong . . . I’m super excited that bone broth is mainstream finally! I, and my other NTPs have been preaching the health benefits of bone broth for more than a decade. Here’s a basic broth recipe. But, usually, people only think about beef or chicken bone broth. Yet, the beginning of fabulous soups and chowders can also be fish stock.
It is a little daunting in some areas to find fish bones. Fish does NOT arrive on your supermarket shelves deboned and filleted. If you live in an area that has a fish monger, he or she is usually more than willing to save fish bones and heads for you; frequently without a charge as these parts are normally discarded. Otherwise you may need to speak to your local butcher. Sometimes, where I live, there will be a short term sale at local markets and even Costco. There you can request to take the whole fish home. Have them fillet the fish for you but don’t leave those bones and heads behind . . . you paid for them, you might as well use them!
The best fish to use is a non-oily variety – sole, rockfish, snapper; I’ve even used halibut!
Don’t forget the head – they are extremely rich in iodine and fat-soluble vitamins.
Fish Stock Recipe
- 3 Tbs. butter, grass-fed
- 2 onions
- 1 leek
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3+ lb. non-oily fish (fins, heads, spine)
- 3 quarts filtered water
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ½ bunch parsley
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- several springs fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
- Fresh ground pepper
- Coarsely chop onions, leek, celery, carrot and mushrooms. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Melt butter in a large pot. Add the vegetables and cook on medium low for about 30 minutes, until they are soft. Stir frequently.
- Add wine and bring to almost a boil (look for a shimmer on the surface not a burble).
- Add the fish carcass(es), water and vinegar. If fish carcass(es) are not fully covered, add additional water to cover.
- Increase heat to medium. Bring to a boil and skim off scum and impurities as they rise to the top.
- Add parsley, ginger, bay leaves and thyme. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Remove the carcasses with tongs or a slotted spoon. Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer with a piece of cheesecloth inside.
- Taste. Add Herbamare and pepper if desired. To intensify the taste, clean pot, return stock to pot and boil down to preferred taste.
- Allow to cool some and then pour into quart jars and freeze. Leave enough space at the top of the jars to account for the stock expanding as it freezes.