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Old 11-02-2006, 05:30 PM   #1
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Fish stock?

Which fish makes good stock?

Which ones don't?

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Old 11-02-2006, 05:39 PM   #2
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I think that white meat fishes(heads, fins, bones) make good stocks.
Mahi, Trout, Cod, Haddock, Flounder, Wahoo, Snapper...

I DO NOT recomend using salmon...way too oily and strong. Or Bluefish either.

I know some cultures use bonito and tuna, but I think that is for more specific soups, versus stocks.
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TATTRAT
I think that white meat fishes(heads, fins, bones) make good stocks.
Mahi, Trout, Cod, Haddock, Flounder, Wahoo, Snapper...

I DO NOT recomend using salmon...way too oily and strong. Or Bluefish either.

I know some cultures use bonito and tuna, but I think that is for more specific soups, versus stocks.
How do you feel about tilapia or catfish?
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:32 PM   #4
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Brown shrimp shells and add water and boil for a nice stock. White fish bones.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:42 PM   #5
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Talapia, maybe... as far as catfish, I am not sure if you would get too much of that "muddy" quality.
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:34 PM   #6
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Don't use oily fish as tatrat said. PLEASE DON'T USE CATFISH. I can promise you probably will not be happy with the results. Use any mild, white fish bones, or for shrimp stock, use raw shrimp shells, same goes for lobster stock.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:33 AM   #7
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Here is a quick copy/paste from my recipe folder. It's based on the CIA's recipe with a few tweaks by me.
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Fish Stock

Stripped down, it's essential components (like all good stocks) are clean water (filtered if necessary, but not distilled), bones, aromatics, herbs and spices. It's essential that high quality ingredients are used, as the flavors derived are subsequently reduced and condensed which will magnify any shortcuts taken. The fish heads, bones, and fins must be extremely fresh to produce a good quality stock. Only use bones from lean fish such as Cod, Haddock, or Sole. Bones from oily fish like Salmon, Tuna, or Mackerel are much too strong and create off odors and flavors. Be sure that all the gills and viscera are removed, or they will cloud the stock and create an off taste. Some flavors and aromatics are volatile, and care must be taken not to boil them away. Boiling is bad not just for flavor, but also decreases the clarity of the final product. Fish stock is especially susceptible to clouding. Frequent skimming is also necessary to remove foam and scum which will reduce the stock's quality if left to break down and suspend itself. For the wine, use a dry white varietal that you would enjoy drinking yourself. A Sauvignon Blanc or Fume Blanc are good choices. Chardonnay is usually too "oaky" for fish stock. Stock should be started cold and cooked at a bare simmer. Cooking time begins once the stock reaches a bare simmer.

10-lbs Fish Bones, Heads, and Fins
3-qt Water + 1-C
1 Bottle Dry White Wine (750-ml)
4-oz Onion - Finely Diced
4-oz Leeks - Finely Diced
4-oz Celery - Finely Diced
4-oz Parsnips - Finely Diced
2 Medium Cloves Garlic - Crushed
1/2-t Black Peppercorns
3 Sprigs Fresh Parsley
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Bay leaves

Combine all the ingredients in a stock-pot and bring to a bare simmer. After the stock has simmered for one hour, carefully strain it with a chinois or cheesecloth.
Your first batch may be cloudy. It takes a real careful eye on the temperature and level of simmer for real clarity. Sometimes I let it go an extra 15min depending on how it smells/tastes. I often omit the leeks if they don't look 100% at the market. The parsnips definetly bring an important component though, so don't leave them out. A good stock makes the diference between a good chowder and an amazing chowder. I'm not a big fan of clams, so I make a fish chowder with haddock. Often times, I just poach a few pieces of filet in the chowder, and serve them whole with the chowder over 'em.

Finding good quality bones can be a problem. Most supermarkets that do buy whole fish just throw all the bones in a bin. I've found that at most stores salmon bones account for 50%+ of the mix, so it's not an option. I buy whole fish that have been gutted & gilled from Whole Foods or a local market. Haddock that is two days out of the water is something like $2.99-$3.99/lb because there is almost no labor involved with fileting and such. I buy a fish at a time, and then save the head/fins/spine in the freezer. Once I have 8-10lbs I'll fire up a stock pot.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:57 AM   #8
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Any firm fleshed white fish is good for stock. When you're buying fish, have your fishmonger give you the heads and bones after the fish is filleted. Wrap and freeze until you have enough to make stock. Unless you are making soup specifically of those fish, I wouldn't use salmon, tuna, bluefish or mackerel... Too oily and strong. I also would NOT add herbs to stock unles syou KNOW you arfe going to want those specific herbs in you finished soup or sauce flavor.

Lobster, Crab and Shrimp shells all make great stock, as well. Farmed catfish -- all we are buying these days -- does not have muddy flavors, buut I wouldn't use them for stock in any case...

I generaly make all my stocks neutral in flavor and add the seasoning when finishing the soup or sauce.
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:13 AM   #9
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Yeah, playing around with herbs is definetly something to try (or leave out). I like the traditional parsley/thyme/bay combo. The parsley has a bit of lemony flavor, and the thyme and bay have those savory aromas I love. I think the garlic combines perfectly with the fish and wine.

If you practice fileting your own fish, you can usually save close to 40-50% off the cost of buying just filet's. It does take practice though. I usually bring a cooler with me when I buy the whole haddock and just have the guy shovel some shaved ice under, into, and over the fish. Put a cooling rack in the bottom of the cooler if you have room. This will allow the melted ice (water) to trickle down and not leave the fish swimming in it. I store it (up to a day) in the bottom crisper of my fridge the same way with a cooling rack and shaved ice.
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