How to make fish stock

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The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

24 Responses

  1. Gay says:

    Hi Connie, thanks for this idea of making fish stock. Here in Gen San, it is common to find tuna fish bones sold per kilo, ~60 pesos per kilo lang. Fresh tuna bones leftover from the fillets, cubes, etc… With the litin and fats pa. I’ll be sure to make my own fish soup stock soon.

  2. Connie says:

    If the litid and fats melt into the stock (extended simmering time though), it’ll be even tastier. And the texture will be richer too. :)

  3. misao says:

    hi ms. connie! for how long can fish stock be kept in the fridge?

  4. starterwife says:

    hi ms. connie, i’ve been a fan of your blog even before i got married almost six months ago. i practiced with your recipes and now that i’m married i still follow your site for new things to try in my very own kitchen =)
    how much (or how many) fish should i use if i’m making soup stock for just two? also, can i use similar portions when making chicken stock – like, half a chicken instead of a whole one? thanks!

  5. Barbara R. says:

    Hi Connie,

    I read in “Nourishing traditions” by Sally Fallon that you need to simmer the fish stock for between 4 to 24 hours. What do you think of such long simmering time? I believe that she recommends such long time so that the minerals and other “goodies” can be drawn out from the fish into the stock. Therefore the stock will be more healthy and therapeutic. She also for that same reason (to draw out the minerals) recommends adding a little bit of vinegar.

    • Connie says:

      Long simmering of bones breaks down cartilages which results in a richer soup. But, for any practical cook, 24 hours of simmering means a high electric bill.

      The vinegar thing is a basic chemistry principle. Try soaking a piece of chicken bone in vinegar for a couple of days and the bone will turn soft because the calcium has been drawn out. However, “a little vinegar” in a pot of water and bones will not have the same effect.

      • Barbara R. says:

        Hi Connie,
        Thank you very much for your response.
        When I make a stock (whether chicken or fish) the stock is not gelatinised ( is there such a word? LOL). What do I do wrong? How do I get the “jello”?For example a couple days ago I simmered halibut head and I had no gelatine (once cooled down in fridge). I hear that if the stock thickens then it is more healthy but I am not sure why.
        Thank you.

        • Connie says:

          You won’t see the gelatinous texture until after you have chilled the broth in the fridge for several hours to give it enough time to congeal. Four hours of simmering can yield a gelatinous stock as long as you reduce the liquid. If you keep adding water while simmering, the liquid will always stay thin.

  6. esperance says:

    is it a good idea to add ginger in a fish stock?

  7. Marylou says:

    Connie, thank you so much for the recipes you posted and will post in the future. I love the Custard Cake and I’ve baked the cake twice. I can easily follow your instructions, plus the pictures shown are great help. I am going to make sure that my grandchildren will go your website to learn how to cook Pinoy food.

    When you say corn flour, does that mean cornstarch?

  8. Diane Bouwman says:

    Hi Connie,
    I made a fish stock from 8 cod heads (the cheeks.and jaw) The broth was very bitter. Why is it bitter and can I do something to make it taste better?Thanks,Diane

  9. Diane, I really haven’t any clue. I’ve never had that experience when making stock from fish heads. Never tried cods though.

  10. Petticoat Philosopher says:

    Diane, my guess is that the gills were still attached. Those will give fish stock a bitter taste. Next time you use heads, make sure the gills are removed or remove them yourself. Then you should have no problems–cod makes a very good stock.

  11. Derek says:

    Removing the gills will keep it from being bitter.

  12. Wow, I never would have thought about the gills. Thanks for the input. :)