Fish stock

Fish stock

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Makes
500-600 ml
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Next time you go to the fishmonger, ask them for some fish heads and bones to make stock. If they’re worth their salt, they’ll happily wrap you up some of their offcuts (which would probably otherwise go in the bin). Fish stock is quick and easy to make, can be stored in the fridge or frozen in ice-cube bags and popped out to add a real depth of flavour to fish sauces and soups.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
600g fish offcuts – heads and bones, (eyes and gills removed)
80ml white wine, or leftover sparkling wine, (that hasn't gone vinegary)
small bunch parsley stalks, tied together
1/2 white part of a leek, sliced
1 stick celery, sliced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 black peppercorns
3 teaspoons good-quality fish sauce

Method

  1. Wash the fish bones and heads under cold running water for a couple of minutes to remove any blood (which would make the stock bitter). Put all the ingredients except the fish sauce in a large saucepan or stockpot and cover with 800 ml water. Place over a medium heat and bring to a gentle boil, skimming off any scum as you go. Reduce the heat and simmer the stock for 25–30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for a further 20 minutes to allow the impurities to settle. Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve, and if you want a really fine clear stock, use a chemex filter or other pour-over coffee filter to strain it again. Season with the fish sauce. Once completely cool, the stock will keep in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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