With a quality seafood stock, you can make seafood soup, sauces, and more. It’s a lot cheaper to make your own seafood stock then to buy it in the grocery. The benefit of making it at home as well is that you can control the ingredients. You can determine what goes into it and how it tastes.
What Is Seafood Stock?
This is a flavorful liquid that’s usually made from the parts of the fish that you might not use in a normal seafood dish. The leftover juice and broth can be saved apart to make something else.
It’s a great way to reuse resources and make sure you’re not tossing out anything that you need. Plus, you can make something really flavorful with a seafood flair.
Seafood stock can be used in any kind of dish that calls for fish, shrimp, lobster, or any other specific seafood stock. I think it tastes so much better than what you would find in the grocery on the shelves.
Making it yourself creates a much more flavorful and fresh stock too.
What to Make with Seafood Stock
There are quite a few different foods you can make with seafood stock, and I’ll just give you a few ideas. A lot of people will make bisques or stews from seafood stock, using this broth to make a rich and flavorful dish.
If you’re freezing and storing your seafood parts, they could be made into a fresh stock very easily whenever you’re ready.
You can use seafood stock the same way you would use veggie stock or chicken stock. It can be used in rice, noodles, any kind of soup, or even as a healthy broth to keep you warm on a cold day.
A hot and flavorful seafood stock can make a tasty broth that’s excellent for chasing away colds and clearing your sinuses.
What is seafood stock used for? Now you have some idea, but these are just a few options.
How to Make Seafood Stock
I’m going to give you one recipe for seafood stock you can use, but keep in mind that you could make this a lot of different ways with other seafood parts.
- 5 cups of shellfish shells (which can be sourced from crab, lobster, or shrimp)
- 1 roughly sliced carrot
- 1 roughly sliced celery stock
- 2 spreads of time
- 3 springs of parsley
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
- You need to start by breaking up the big pieces of shell. They need to be pounded into smaller pieces, which you can do with a meat hammer, and that’s definitely the easiest way.Or, you can use a rolling pin, but it will take some extra force.To make sure you’re not making a mess and don’t end up with bits of shell on the floor, you can put all your shell pieces into a thick plastic bag and seal it shut and then smash up your shells.If you’re using shrimp shells, you’ll want to cut them with a chef’s knife.
- Next, you can roast the shells in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. You don’t have to do this step, but you’re going to get a lot more flavor from your seafood stock if you do this.
- Then, place your crushed, roasted shells into a large pot and cover them just slightly with water. The water should be about an inch higher than the shells in the pot. Heat that on high until it starts to bubble slightly.Then, reduce the heat to medium. You don’t want the stock to boil, and the temperature should be kept around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. You also shouldn’t stir the shells, as that will make the stock a bit muddy.As your stock bubbles, skim the foam away with a large metal spoon. Continue cooking for about an hour, taking the foam off as you see it.
- Add in your vinegar, vegetables, herbs, and peppercorns. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes.Skim off the foam when you notice it, and then add the salt and take the pot off the heat.
- Finally, strain your stock through a lined sieve.
How to Make Seafood Stock with Shrimp Shells
I’ve given you step-by-step instructions for how you can make seafood stock on your own from scratch, but if you’re just using shrimp shells, you’ll want to make some modifications.
It’s best if you don’t cut the shrimp shell pieces too small. You don’t want them to disappear into the stock. When I cut up the shrimp shells for seafood stock, I use a chef’s knife. This helps me make sure I’m not cutting too fine, and it cuts through them really easily.
You can roast the shells, if you want, but it’s not necessary. This optional step really adds the flavor, but it’s up to you what you want to do.
What Can I Substitute for Seafood Stock?
If all of that sounds like too much work, you can make a much quicker and simpler stock at home without using a lot of seafood or any seafood at all.
You can use chicken broth or vegetable broth as a substitute, but if you’re using veggie broth, make sure you mix that with half a cup of water. All of these make excellent seafood stock substitutes.
What can I use instead of seafood stock if I don’t have stock on hand or don’t want to use stock? You can make a stock from scratch that works as a substitute for seafood stock, and it makes really easy. Just use seafood bouillon cubes or seafood soup seasoning.
The little packets of seasoning have a ton of flavor, and if you just mix them with some water, you can make seafood stock in a pinch that is a pretty close approximation of the real thing.