In all my years helping folks transition their wayward eating ways back to the tried, true and traditional, I have discovered that making fish stock consistently ranks as one of those kitchen activities with a “ain’t no way I’m going to do that” sign attached to it.
So, here I am doing a videoblog on making fish stock! Have I lost my mind?
Probably, as those of you who read this blog regularly have already discovered!
Seriously, though, making fish stock is a very important activity that should be incorporated into the routine of any cook focused on nutrient dense cooking.
Fish stock is the most nutritious stock that you can make. Not only is it the most nutrient dense, it is also the most inexpensive and the quickest! In addition, it tastes the best too, in my humble opinion (I’m sipping a cup of red snapper stock as I type this)!
I just LOVE fish stock. Perhaps this is from my travels in Asia back in 1988-89 when I would have a cup nearly every morning as part of my traditional Japanese breakfast (I did not see fish stock in China, but I’m sure it’s there somewhere, just not where I was).
Making fish stock is very simple and easy. A few quarts of water, a fishhead or two (plus some bones if you have them) and some vinegar. A gallon of fish stock will only set you back about $2 and be ready in only 4 hours. This compares with $20 or so for the leftover bones of a pastured chicken (and 24-48 hours of simmering) or $10-20 for 5 lbs of grassfed beef bones (and 48-72 hours of simmering).
Don’t get me wrong – I make ALL kinds of stock. Each one has its own unique flavor and adds something special to your cooking repertoire of soups and sauces.
Fish stock, though, genuinely ranks as the most healing of all stocks. “Fish stock will cure anything” and “Good broth will resurrect the dead” are both South American proverbs.
Unlike other types of stock, fish stock contains thyroid strengthening properties when the fish heads are included in the broth making process. Who doesn’t need a thyroid boost with the crazy, stressful lives we all lead today?
So, find yourself a quality fish monger in your city or town and make this vitality strengthening food for yourself and your family!
3 quarts of filtered water
2 lbs of fish heads and bones (fish heads alone will suffice)*
1/4 cup raw, organic apple cider vinegar
Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to taste
*Do not use oily fish such as salmon for fish stock or you will stink up the whole house! Only use non-oily fish such as sole, turbot, rockfish or, my favorite, snapper. I’ve also used grouper in a pinch, but the stock does not taste nearly as good.
Place water and fish heads/bones in a 4 quart stockpot. Stir in vinegar while bringing the water to a gentle boil. As the water first begins to boil, skim off any foam that rises to the surface. It is important to remove this foam as this is impurities and off flavors. Reduce heat to a simmer for at least 4 hours and no more than 24 hours. Cool and then strain into containers for refrigeration. Freeze what you will not use in one week.
Click here for an article on how to make fast fish stock in minutes from bonito flakes.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist