"Fish stock is particularly rich in minerals especially iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances"
Jude Blereau, Wholefood for Children
Fish stock forms the basis of many recipes and adds not only nutrition but stacks of flavour. As a rule whenever we have fish I try to incorporate fish stock into the meal, even if it is only half a cup or so.
You want to use a non-oily fish to make your stock. Fish like salmon and ocean trout are not suitable for stock and also in Australia these fish are farmed - I suggest avoiding them - read here for more information. Farmed fish are fed all sorts of things such as grains, soy and fish oil*. If you do ever wish to consume 'pink fish' such as salmon, wild candian sockeye salmon is an excellent wild source, we purchase ours here.
Last minute cooking? Need Fish Stock? A wonderful tip I picked up from Jude Blereu's Wholefood for Children was to place the fish bones and head in some muslin/ cheese cloth with the herbs, secure with some cooking twine and add this into the pot with other ingredients and filtered water (perfect for a fish stew or soup)......a one pot wonder :)
From the pantry
2-3kg Fish bones and heads from non-oily fish such as cod, snapper, flat head or bream
herbs – few sprigs of thyme/ lemon thyme and a bay leaf
bunch of parsley
200mls sulphite free white wine (if you prefer not to use wine, add a few tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar - an acid is needed to draw the gelatin and minerals out of the bones)
2-3 Litres filtered water
1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
2 brown onions
few stalks of celery
1 bulb of fennel
4 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1. Saute leek, brown onion, celery, fennel and garlic cloves in butter until softened
2. add fish heads and bones – I add them whole, however if your stock pot is not big enough, you may need to cut up the fish carcass
3. add white wine to deglaze
4. add filtered water and peppercorns
5. continue to simmer for 1 hour
6. about 20 minutes before taking off heat add in a bunch of parsley
7. Strain using fine meshed sieve and pour liquid into glass storage.
8. Once cooled freeze until needed (best to freeze in the approx. portions you will need to use it - I usually freeze in 1 and 2 litre glass pyrex containers)
Use your homemade fish stock for these recipes.....
Fish pie (recipe coming soon)
* Farmed Salmon – the battery hens of the sea - Atlantic salmon also known as Tasmanian Salmon is one of the most commonly consumed fish and what we eat in Australia is farmed. In fact they are the most commonly farmed fish. This is a cruel game and they are often called “the battery hens of the sea”. Salmon are carnivorous, they feed off microalgae and small fish. Farmed salmon are fed fish meal, wheat by products, soybean meal and feather meal. Because they are not consuming their natural feed they have very low levels of omega 3. Did you know that 50% of the world fish oil production is fed to farmed salmon to raise those levels? Yes fish oil, the same stuff we supplement with. The other concern is the amount of antibiotics given to farmed salmon. Industry figures show that from 2006 to 2008 almost 18 tonnes of the antibiotics Oxytetracycline and Amoxicillin were fed to Tasmanian salmon.