Don’t Waste Your Fish Scraps: How to Make Delicious and Nutritious Fish Stock

Don’t Waste Your Fish Scraps: How to Make Delicious and Nutritious Fish Stock

Fish stock is a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world. It’s a flavorful and nutrient-rich liquid that serves as the base for a variety of seafood dishes. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of fish stock, why it’s so popular, common ingredients, nutrition, and serving ideas.

History The history of fish stock can be traced back to ancient times when people used the bones and scraps from fish to create a broth. Fish stock was particularly popular in coastal communities where fish was abundant and readily available. It was used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces and was considered a valuable source of nutrition.

As time went on, fish stock became popular in many other cultures, including French and Japanese cuisine. In France, fish stock is a key ingredient in many classic dishes, such as bouillabaisse and seafood chowder. In Japan, dashi, a type of fish stock made from bonito flakes, is the base for many soups and sauces.

Why is Fish Stock So Popular? Fish stock is popular for several reasons. First, it’s a great way to use up fish scraps that would otherwise be discarded. Second, it’s a flavorful and nutrient-dense liquid that adds depth and complexity to dishes. Third, it’s relatively easy to make and can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer for later use.

Common Ingredients The ingredients for fish stock can vary depending on the recipe and the type of fish being used. However, some common ingredients include:

  • Fish scraps (such as bones, heads, and tails)
  • Vegetables (such as onions, carrots, and celery)
  • Aromatics (such as garlic, bay leaves, and parsley)
  • Water or broth
  • White wine or other acidic liquid

Homemade Fish Stock Recipe: How to Make It from Scratch

Learn how to make homemade fish stock from scratch using fish trimmings or shrimp shells, vegetables, and simple seasonings. This flavorful stock is perfect for use in soups, stews, sauces, and more.
Course Sauces, Stocks, and Accompaniments
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12
Author N. J. Sorensen, RDN


  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds fish trimmings or shrimp shells
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Twist of lemon
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a large saucepan, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, fish trimmings or shrimp shells, bay leaf, water, white wine, twist of lemon, salt, and pepper.
  • Slowly bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, partially cover the saucepan, and let it simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Strain the stock through a fine sieve or cheesecloth-lined colander.
  • Press or squeeze the vegetables and fish to extract all the liquid. Discard the solids.
  • Use the fish stock immediately or freeze it for later use.

Nutrition Fish stock is a nutrient-dense liquid that provides a range of important vitamins and minerals. It’s a good source of protein, as well as several important minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Fish stock is also rich in collagen, a protein that plays a key role in skin, hair, and nail health.

Serving Ideas Fish stock can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and sauces. Here are some serving ideas:

  • Seafood Chowder: Use fish stock as the base for a hearty seafood chowder, along with shrimp, clams, potatoes, and corn.
  • Bouillabaisse: This classic French fish stew is made with fish stock, tomatoes, saffron, and a variety of seafood, such as shrimp, mussels, and white fish.
  • Fish Soup: Make a simple fish soup by combining fish stock with chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery, and chunks of white fish.
  • Seafood Risotto: Use fish stock instead of chicken or vegetable broth to make a delicious seafood risotto with shrimp, scallops, and white fish.

In addition to being delicious and nutrient-rich, making your own fish stock is also an eco-friendly choice. By using fish scraps that would otherwise be discarded, you’re reducing waste and making the most of the resources available. Additionally, homemade fish stock is free from additives and preservatives, making it a healthier choice than store-bought versions.

In conclusion, fish stock is a versatile and nutritious ingredient that adds depth and flavor to a variety of dishes. Whether you’re making a seafood chowder or a simple fish soup, homemade fish stock is a great way to add nutrients and flavor to your meals while reducing waste and making the most of your resources. So next time you’re cooking with fish, don’t toss the scraps – use them to make a delicious and nutritious fish stock.