Fumet de Poissons

Basic Fish Stock


Fish stock is always made with white-fleshed fish or fish bones. When butter is used, as described below, the resulting stock can be used to flavour soups and sauces; omit the butter if it is to be used for aspics and consommes.

NOTE: No Salt is used in a fish stock if it is to be boiled down to make a fish glate (glace de poisson), otherwise a small amount can be added, if wished.

2 whole whiting, 225 g (8 oz) each, or 450 g (1 lb) other lean white fish with bones, or 450 g (1 lb) fish bones (except salmon, tuna, and mackerel)
45 g (1.5 oz) butter
2 medium onions, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
2 medium leeks (white part only), chopped
1 Bouquet Garni
10 peppercorns
350 ml (12 fl oz) dry white wine
700 ml (1.25 pints) water

The chef has something to tell about stocks.

If using whole fish, clean and scale it as you would any round fish. Then cut the fish, with the heads, into large pieces. If using fish bones, rinse and chop into several pieces.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the fish and the vegetables, and cook for about 2 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not coloured. Add the bouquet garni, peppercorns and wine and bring to the boil. Cook until reduced by about half then stir in the water and return to the boil, skimming off any froth that rises to the surface. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine strainer lined with muslin, pressing down on the solids to extract all the liquid. The final yield should be about 1 litre (1.75 pints); if necessary, return the stock to the saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 1 litre (1.75 pints).