This has happened to me more times than I care to count. The thought of resorting to stock in a can or carton in a pinch, however, just makes me cringe. Fortunately, even if it’s 4pm and you have no stock in the house, you can still continue with dinner as planned because shrimp stock can be made in only 30 minutes.
Shrimp stock is not only fast, it is amazingly flavorful and as you can see from the photo, it is a very rich orange-pink color as well. In fact, the batch I made shown in the photo is the exact color of fresh squeezed guava juice!
If making fish stock has not been something you’ve been able to bring yourself to try, start with shrimp stock as it is a more agreeable task to many. In addition, sourcing wild shrimp with the heads on is easier in some locations than non-oily fish heads for fish stock.
Whatever you do, skip the farmed shrimp and pay extra for the truly wild ones. The conditions farmed shrimp are raised in is nothing short of horrific in many instances and much of farmed shrimp comes from third world countries with little to no regulations of any kind.
For Cajun cuisine lovers, feel free to substitute crawfish for the shrimp as desired.
Makes 1 quart
1 pound wild shrimp (or crawfish) with heads on
1 quart filtered water
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 organic carrot, chopped
Other chopped organic veggies (optional)
Remove heads, shells, and tails and place in a 1 gallon pot. Add 1 quart filtered water and chopped carrots. Stir in vinegar of choice.
Bring the pot to a boil on the stovetop, skimming off any white foam as it rises to the top.
Once the stock is boiling, turn down to a very low simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes. The stock is ready as soon as it turns a rich pink color. You may simmer the stock longer to improve the flavor if desired – up to 3 hours.
Strain the stock, cool and use immediately or store for several days in the refrigerator in a glass jar. Freeze what you will not use in a few days.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist