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How to make Seafood Stock

A step by step guide to preparing seafood stock with shellfish shells

by SoPo Seafood's Jacqueline Clark (AKA the Briny Babe) - July 23, 2021

Seafood Stock in Pot

Makes about 10-12 cups of stock
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes 

How to Make Seafood Stocks Video

Making a good homemade seafood stock takes a few basic aromatics, white wine, and seafood shells. For the aromatics, here is what we like to use: 

Celery
Carrot
Onion
Garlic
Leeks
Tomato Paste
Black Peppercorn
Parsley
Rosemary
Thyme
Bay Leaf
Salt

When it comes to seafood shells, we like to use a variety, such as shrimp shells, lobster shells, crab shells, and even fish bones. That said, if you only have one type of shell, that’s perfectly fine too. The best thing about making seafood stocks is that you don’t need an exact ratio of aromatics to shells. Anywhere between 5 and 10 cups of seafood shells will do.

Whenever I have leftover seafood shells, I stick them in a gallon-sized zipper bag and throw it in the freezer. As I collect more shells, I keep adding them to the zipper bag until its full, and then I make my stock.  

Seafood Stock Ingredients

Ingredients

• 7-10 cups seafood shells and bones, roasted
• 4 garlic cloves, smashed
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 1 onion, quartered
• 1 leek, white and light green part thinly sliced
• 10 fresh thyme sprigs
• 10 fresh parsley sprigs
• 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
• 2 dried bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon peppercorns
• Water
• 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
• 1 cup dry white wine
• Salt to taste 

Maine Lobster Tails Shell

Steps

• Optional: Roast the Seafood Shells. To start, we roast our seafood shells in the oven for 10 minutes. This brings out the shells’ rich flavor, so don’t skip this step. We can easily take care of this step while prepping the other ingredients.
• Add the Ingredients. Now we toss the roasted seafood shells into a large pot and add enough water to cover them along with the rest of our stock ingredients.
• Patience is Key. From here, we bring our stock to a boil and then drop to a simmer. The stock will foam as it simmers, so we just skim that off as it forms.
• The Finished Product. After simmering, we simply add salt to taste, strain our seafood stock and call it a day. We now have a delicious batch of homemade seafood stock ready to use in all sorts of recipe 

How to Serve

Of course, you can use this stock in your seafood soups, chowders, bisques and the like, but those aren’t the only uses. Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy this seafood stock recipe:

Risotto
Bouillabaise
Paella
Cioppino
Steaming mussels or clams 

Seafood Stock pot

Can You Freeze It

Without a doubt. In fact, we always make a huge batch to freeze leftovers. Making a double or triple batch doesn’t take much additional effort, so if we’re going to take the time to make homemade stock, we want to keep plenty on hand.

We find the frozen stock is at its best if you use it within six months. That said, it will last longer and still be tasty if you don’t use all of it within that timeframe.  

Seafood Stock Lobster Tails

Buy Maine Lobster Tails Online

This how to guide was created using SoPo Seafood's Maine Lobster Tails. 

Maine Lobster Tailed Grilled

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