Simple Fish Stock for Everyone


  • 4 Liters Water
  • 2 Kg White Fish Bones (red fish bones will darken the stock)
  • 200g Onion
  • 50g Butter
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Parsley Stalks
  • 6 whole white peppercorns


  1. Melt the butter in a thick bottom pan.
  2. Add the sliced onions, the well washed and rinsed fish bones.
  3. Cover with a lid and sweat for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the water, bring to a slow simmer.
  5. Skim and continue to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Strain through a fine cloth.

Notes: It is very important to wash the bones stringently, therefore getting rid of as much blood off the bones as you possibly can, otherwise the blood will darken the stock. If you require a light in colour fish stock to be used for a cream sauce for example, it is important not to brown or add colour to any of the ingredients whilst they are sweating. Any colouration of the ingredients will darken the stock therefore darkening the finished cream sauce. When bringing the stock to a simmer, it is important not to boil the stock; as if the stock boils the rising impurities will mix inside the stock and make it cloudy.

As the stock simmers impurities will rise to the top and all these are not needed, therefore they have to be skimmed off with a ladle or spoon and then discarded. When skimming off the impurities it is important not to skim off the ingredients that you have just added at the same time, if you do that then you waste them by throwing them away as well and the stock will not taste as good. Due to the fact that fish bones are smaller and softer, 20 minutes of simmering time should be enough to get out all the flavour and the marrow from inside the joints. Fish stock is an essential base that can be used for all fish sauces and soups.