Seafood soup in White Ceramic Bowl

Homemade Seafood Stock: Recipes to Try During Your Free Time

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Elevate any stew or soup recipe with a rich serving of homemade seafood stock. A delicious combination of seafood, white wine and fresh herbs, this stock is more flavorful than store-bought stock. The best part is you can easily make it at home.

What to Use Seafood Stock For

If you’ve never made seafood stock before, you’re in luck. Any soup gets an immediate flavor upgrade when you add the stock. Think about it: a rich seafood soup or broth made richer with stock is better compared to slowly roasted and simmered seafood shells. 

Apart from adding a depth of flavor to your favorite soups, seafood stock doesn’t require any expert culinary know-how or fancy techniques to perfect the art of stock making. A little chopping, some roasting and plenty of simmering are all you need to make a fresh pot of seafood stock. 

How Do You Make Seafood Stock?

Although seafood stock is easy to make and cooks of all experience levels can enjoy the cooking process, it does take time. So if you’re planning to squeeze in stock-making in a busy workday, it’s best not to. Instead, prepare your stock during a lazy weekend. 

A final note on seafood stock making: the internet is full of “quick” recipes. Naturally, people are busy with their schedules and want to make instant food. But if you can’t take a moment to slow down and enjoy the process, you’ll miss out on the joy of cooking seafood stock. Quick recipes have their place in the kitchen but slow-cooked meals deserve your attention.

Here’s how to make seafood stock, as well as its relatives:  shrimp stock, lobster stock, fish stock and crab stock.

Seafood Stock

A plate with seafood
Photo from Pexels


A good homemade seafood broth requires seafood shells, basic aromatics and white wine. For the aromatics, you can use the following:

  • Parsley
  • Black peppercorn
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Salt 
  • Bay leaf
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Tomato paste
  • Leeks

As for the seafood shells, go for a variety. Include fish bones, lobster shells, crab shells and shrimp shells. But if you have only one type of shell, that’s OK. If you want to have more flavor, start collecting leftover seafood shells for your next stock. As you collect more shells, add them to a zipper bag until the bag is full. 


  1. Roast your seafood shells in the oven for 10 minutes to bring out the flavor of the shells. Take care of this step while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Toast the roasted shells into a pot and add water before throwing the rest of the stock ingredients. 
  3. Bring the stock to a boil first before you drop it to a simmer. As it simmers, the stock will foam so skim the foam off as it forms. 
  4. The stock needs to simmer for another hour so use this time to relax. 
  5. After simmering, add salt to taste and strain your stock.

You can use your stock for bisques, chowders and seafood soup. You can also add your seafood broth to the following:

  • Cioppino
  • Risotto
  • Paella
  •  Bouillabaise

Crab Stock

Cooked Crab on Plate
Photo by David Abbram from Pexels


  • Blue crab shells and whole claws (you can use other types of crabs)
  • White wine
  • Water
  • Garlic cloves
  • Yellow onion
  • Celery ribs
  • Old bay
  • Olive oil
  • Bay leaves
  • Tomato paste
  • Kosher salt
  • Mustard powder
  • Red pepper flakes


  1. Heat the olive oil over a medium flame in your pot. Add the celery, onion and garlic and sauté.
  2. Next, stir in the spices and the tomato paste. Let the pot heat for two to three minutes before you add the bay leaves. 
  3. Once fragrant, pour in the white wine for deglazing. 
  4. Add the crab shells and give it a good stir, ensuring all of the shells are coated. 
  5. Finally, cover the shells with water and bring the stock to boil. Once the crab stock boils, turn the heat down and let the broth simmer for two to three hours.
  6. Once the stock has cooled, strain the crab broth through a cheesecloth or a strainer. 

Crab stock is a perfect addition for stews, chowders, soups and other recipes with seafood.

Lobster Stock

Lobster stock
Photo by HM Grand Central Hotel from Pexels


  • Lobster shells
  • Celery stalks
  • Olive oil
  • Medium onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Fennel tops
  • Garlic cloves
  • Plum tomatoes
  • White wine
  • Water
  • Salt


    1. Gather your ingredients. Break the lobster shells into smaller pieces. Open the bodies and remove the sand sac between the eyes and the feathery gills.
  • Crush the bodies so they fit your stewpot. 
  • In a Dutch oven or a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the celery, carrots and onions over a medium flame for three to four minutes.
  • Add the lobster shells and let the stock cook for two to three minutes. Next, toss in the fennel, mushrooms and garlic. Stir the mixture well and cook for another three minutes.
  • Add the bay leaves, parsley, and tomatoes. Add the wine or dry sherry and stir well. 
  • Stir and cook until the majority of the alcohol has burned off. After three minutes, add enough water to cover the entire mixture.
  • Bring the lobster stock to a boil. Simmer the broth for at least 90 minutes to improve its flavor. Test the flavor and add salt.
  • Turn off the heat and grab all the chunks of lobster to throw away. Allow the mixture to slightly cool before straining it.

Shrimp Stock

Shrimp stock is perfect for seafood-based noodles (like the Filipino dish pancit palabok) or sautéed vegetable dishes.


  • Shrimp heads and shells
  • Garlic cloves
  • Celery stalk
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay leaves
  • Onions


  • In a large pan over medium heat, heat your oil. Add the shrimp shells and heads, stirring occasionally. Stir the shrimp parts for about seven to ten minutes until the color changes to pink.
  • Add celery, onion, bay leaves, garlic, water and peppercorns.
  • Bring the shrimp stock to a boil and remove any foam that floats on top. Lower the heat and simmer without covering the pot. Simmer the broth for 20 to 25 minutes. Press the shrimp heads with the back of the spoon to extract more flavor.
  • Using a fine mesh, strain the stock and remove the aromatics and the shrimp. Allow the stock to cool before transferring to a container.

Fish Stock

Fish Broth
Photo from Pexels library

Called fumét in French, fish stock is a wonderful base for seafood risotto, chowders, soups and sauces. Unlike the other stocks mentioned above, fish stock can take 45 minutes (or less) to cook on the stovetop.


  • Fresh thyme
  • Parsley sprigs
  • Peppercorns
  • Celery stalks
  • Bay leaf
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • White whine
  • Fish heads and bones, discard the gills
  • Cold water


  • In a soup pot, heat the butter over a medium flame. Before you add the carrot, celery and onion, lower the heat. Warm the vegetables for about five minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the fish head and bones and cover the mixture with parchment paper. Cover the pot and let the bones warm until they are opaque.
  • Remove the parchment paper and the lid. Add the white wine and increase the heat until the broth simmers.
  • Add the sachet d’epices and the water. Let it simmer and cook for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Strain the fish stock. If you can remove the bones, the better.

Seafood stock is a lovely addition to any soup, noodle, or seafood-centric dish. Enjoy your meals by making homemade stock with love!

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