How to/ Basics,  Recipes

How to Make Fish Fumet (Fish Stock) and Seafood Stock

This post is the last in a series on homemade stocks. Make sure you check out the posts on chicken stock, veal stock and vegetable stock for more on the basics of making stock. 

Fish fumet (pronounced foo-may) is a fish stock made from fish bones (and sometimes the head) of white fish such as halibut, bream, or bass. Avoid adding any skin or bloodline as this can make the stock cloudy. Fish fumet can be used as the base for some delicate sauces for poached fish, or in seafood soups like bouillabaisse, cioppino or when made with seafood, for lobster or crab bisque.

In this stock the vegetables are finely chopped because you want maximum flavor in minimum time. Rapid boiling can make the stock cloudy and simmering for longer than 20-30 min can yield a bitter flavor.

To make a seafood stock, replace the fish bones with shrimp, crab or lobster shells. See the bottom of the recipe below for instructions.

How to make Fish Fumet (fish stock) and Seafood stock

Prep Time35 minutes
Servings: 8 cups


  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 pounds fish bones
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 leek white/light green part only, thinly sliced
  • 2 each stalks celery ½” dice
  • 1 medium yellow onion ½” dice
  • 1 clove garlic sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 1 ounce fresh flat leaf parsley


  • Rinse the fish bones to remove any excess skin or scales which might be sticking to them.
  • Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the vegetables and stir. Cook them for about a minute but do not allow them to color. Add the fish bones and cover the pot, allowing the bones to cook until they start to become opaque (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the cold water, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Cool and strain through cheesecloth.


Seafood stock option: replace the fish bones with shrimp, crab or lobster shells.
Get the pot very hot and add the oil.
Add the shells and cook in the hot oil until they become pink.
Add the vegetables and cook until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes).
Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and cook it with the shells for 30 seconds.
Add the wine and stir. Add the water and herbs. Simmer and strain.

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