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Published March 1, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This classic fish stock recipe comes together in under an hour and a half and is the perfect liquid for all your seafood recipes. You will love how quickly this comes together and the unique flavors it has.
If this is a new recipe to you and you are unsure what to cook it in, try it as the braising liquid in my Cioppino Recipe.
Fish stock, also known as fish fumet and fumet de poisson, is a concentrated stock made from fish bones, vegetables, and herbs. It is commonly used in fish or shellfish-related dishes that call for braising, poaching, or boiling in liquid to enhance the flavor. This does not have an overly fishy flavor at all and can absolutely complement any of your seafood dishes.
Like my vegetable, chicken, or beef stock, this is a great recipe that can essentially be free if you save leftover vegetable scraps and fish bones. If you purchase whole fish and fillet it yourself, you’ve immediately got fish bones leftover, which you can then use to make fish stock.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Fish Bones – Use white fish bones when making fish stock.
- Mirepoix – I used a combination of yellow onions, celery, and carrots. You can also use white or sweet onion.
- Herbs – Fresh thyme, parsley, and bay leaves add flavor to the fish fumet.
- Lemon – 1 lemon will add some excellent clean acid to compliment the fish flavors.
- Wine – I used chardonnay when deglazing the pot. You can also use sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio.
- Garlic – A few mashed garlic cloves add more flavor to the liquid.
- Pepper – I used a couple of whole peppercorns for taste.
How to Make Fish Fumet from Scratch
Cut the vegetables into small dice, or slices
Break down the fish bones. In many cases, they will come in whole and not fit in a pot. I prefer to cut them into 6” x 6” pieces using a cleaver.
Roast the vegetables in clarified butter over medium heat until lightly browned, which takes about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add in the fish and sauté for 4 to 6 minutes. It will be hard to move the bones around but do the best you can.
Next, deglaze with wine and cook until the amount of liquid I reduced by one-half.
Place in the lemon, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns.
Next, pour in the water until it has covered the bones by about 2 to 4 inches.
Simmer over low to medium heat for 45 minutes. Be sure to regularly skim off any impurities that are on the top.
Strain the fish fumet through a chinois or fine mesh strainer.
Cool and store or use in a recipe.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 2 days ahead.
How to Store: Once cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cover and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating and using.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of fish fumet to a medium-size pot and heat over low heat until hot. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
CHEF NOTES + TIPS
- If you use bones from salmon, it will have an overpowering salmon flavor.
- Skimming the scum is when you use a spoon to remove the impurities from the vegetables and protein in the fish fumet and discard it. You do this every 20-30 minutes until the fish stock is done cooking.
- You can also use any neutral-flavored oil in place of the clarified butter.
- Substitute the fresh thyme with 1 teaspoon of dry thyme.
More Stock Recipes
Fish Stock Recipe (Fish Fumet)
- 2 tablespoons clarified butter or neutral-flavored oil
- 1 small diced yellow onion
- 2 small diced carrots
- 2 small diced ribs of celery
- 2 smashed garlic cloves
- 5 pounds white fish bones
- 1 cup chardonnay wine
- 1 lemon sliced in half
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 to 10 parsley sprigs
- 2 thyme sprigs
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 ¼ gallon water
- Cut the vegetables into small dices, or slices
- Break down the fish bones. In a lot of cases, they will come in whole and will not fit in a pot. I prefer to cut them down into 6” x 6” pieces using a cleaver.
- Roast the vegetables in clarified butter over medium heat until lightly browned, which takes about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add in the fish and sauté for 4 to 6 minutes. It will be hard to move the bones around but do the best you can.
- Next, deglaze with wine and cook until the amount of liquid I reduced by one half.
- Place in the lemon, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns.
- Next, pour in the water until it has covered the bones by about 2 to 4 inches.
- Simmer over low to medium heat for 45 minutes. Be sure to regularly skim off any impurities that are on the top.
- Strain the fish fumet through a chinois or fine mesh strainer.
- Cool and store or use in a recipe.