Fumet de Poisson (Fish Stock Recipe)


Since I arrived at my parents’ in Paris, I’ve been preparing Vietnamese dishes they haven’t had since they left Saigon in the mid ‘70s. In the Bay Area where I live, all kinds of ethnic ingredients are widely available, so I brought some and made the best bỏ nhúng dấm (Vietnamese-style beef fondue) and used the shells for this fumet.

A fumet de poisson is a flavorful fish stock made with seafood remnants. I used écrevisse (small French lobster, similar to a crayfish) shells, empty clam shells and a whole fish. I also added a few whole chiles, carrots, leeks, celery leaves, garlic and tomatoes for extra natural sweetness. The fumet is incredibly versatile, and can be used in soups and sauces that accompany just about any seafood. I especially like to use this in my lobster bisque. Enjoy!

1. Info for Fumet de Poisson (Fish Stock Recipe)

  • Cook Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 37Kcal

2. Ingredients for Fumet de Poisson (Fish Stock Recipe)

  • 1 tilapia fish
  • 2 pounds seafood shells (clam shells, fish bones, fish heads, shrimp shells, etc)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery (stalks + the leaves), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 (8-inch) piece leeks, thinly sliced
  • 4 ripe grape tomatoes (medium size), cut into wedges
  • 2 green Thai bird chiles, slightly bruised
  • 1-½ teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1-½ tablespoons parsley (with stems), finely chopped

3. Directions:

  1. Prepping the celery: Discard any badly-shaped leaves. Separate the stalks from the leaves. Trim the end of the stalks and thinly slice.
  2. Ask your fishmonger to prep the fish (clean and scale the fish but leave it whole). Wash the fish in salted water and pat dry using paper towels. Make deep incisions in the middle section, leaving the skin on.
  3. In a mortar and pestle, grind 1 clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons leeks, thyme and salt into a coarse paste.
  4. In a small pan, heat the oil and the onions and cook until caramelized. Add the bay leaf, leek mixture, 1 quart of water and wine. Bring to a boil. Add the remaining garlic and the seafood shells. Cook for about 15 minutes. Strain through a sieve. Discard the solids. Pour the broth into a stockpot. Bring to a boil.
  5. Once the liquid is boiling, add the whole fish and celery stalks. Regularly skim the impurities rising to the surface of the broth using a fine mesh strainer. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes, the remaining leeks, chiles, celery leaves and parsley. Let it come back to a boil for a last time, add the tomatoes, cover and cook for 5-8 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add salt and pepper. Taste again. The broth should be fragrant and properly seasoned.
  8. It’s ready!

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