Fish Stock

An elegant base for seafood soups and stews, this delicately flavoured stock can also be used as a poaching liquid for whole fish. Be careful not to overcook fish stock; too much cooking destroys the complex flavour and can give it a bitter edge. After making the stock, use the cooked fish in salads or a fish pie.

Fish Stock


  • 700 g whole white-fleshed fish, such as cod, snapper or haddock, cleaned and scaled
  • 1–2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white wine, or the juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns


  1. Cut off the fish head, slit open the fish and remove the bones. In a large saucepan, combine the fish fillets, head and bones. Add the remaining ingredients and 6–8 cups (1.5–2 litres) water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium–high heat, using a slotted spoon to skim off any fat or scum that rises to the surface.
  2. Reduce the heat to very low and barely simmer the stock, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until the fish fillets are just cooked. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the fish fillets and set aside to drain.
  3. Simmer the stock for a further 15 minutes.
  4. Line a fine sieve with muslin (cheesecloth) and set it over a large bowl. Slowly pour the stock through the sieve; discard the solids. Let the stock cool to room temperature. Pour the stock into serving-sized, airtight containers; cover, label and date. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.

Makes 6 cups (1.5 litres)
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: about 30 minutes

More Recipes

Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake

Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake

Here's a no-fuss, yet impressive, cake for a special occasion. Serve with a generous dollop of cream or a spoonful of good ice-cream.
Double Chocolate Creams

Double Chocolate Creams

A delicious treat, chocolate is a great feel-good food.

Need To Lose Weight? Start With Butter In Your Coffee

Need Help To Lose Weight? Start With Butter In Your Coffee

It may sound strange - and downright disgusting - but wellness experts are singing the praises of this buttery beverage.

Stuffed Thai omelette

Stuffed Thai omelette

For these delectable chilli–flavoured omelettes, the eggs are whisked with cornflour to give them a slightly firmer texture, suitable for folding round a colourful and tasty filling of stir–fried vegetables and rice noodles.

Sweet couscous

Sweet couscous

Couscous is extremely versatile and can be used for both savoury dishes and for sweet ones, such as this quickly made, delicious hot cereal. The couscous is mixed with dried fruit and soaked briefly in hot milk, then topped with fresh fruit, to create something a little different to start the day.