Fish Stock

This article has not been rated yet.


15 min


11 cups (2.75 L)

* PLUS Cooking time: 37 minutes


  • 1.5 kg chopped fish heads , and bones from striped bass, turbot, red snapper or grouper
  • 2 leeks , or 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/2 fennel bulb , optional
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley stems
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • Rinse fish head and bones under cold running water. Make sure no blood remains or stock will be cloudy. Cut leeks in half lengthwise and rinse under cold water to remove any grit. Coarsely chop leeks, carrots, celery and fennel. Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add veggies, thyme, bay leaves, parsley stems and peppercorns. Stir often until leeks are softened, 7 to 9 min. Then add wine, lemon juice and fish. Pour in enough cold water to cover, about 12 cups (3 L).
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Then reduce heat and simmer for 30 min. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Stir occasionally. Then spoon out and discard head and bones. Strain stock though a large mesh sieve into another saucepan. To concentrate flavour, boil to reduce by half. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate. It will keep well up to 3 days. Or divide into smaller portions and freeze up to 4 months.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 47,
  • Protein
  • 5.3 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 0.7 g,
  • Fat
  • 1.9 g,
  • Sodium
  • 365 mg.

Fish stock makes seafood-based chowders, pastas and risottos sing. Ask your fishmonger for heads and bones from white fish only. (Salmon bones have a bitter, almost musty taste.) Save yourself some time by having him chop them, too. Don’t be afraid to use fish heads; they give stock a rich layer of flavour. One more tip: Don’t simmer for longer than 30 min or stock will taste strong and bitter.

Use stock in

David’s chowder or in Sumptuous seafood ragout