Kitchen Basics

Fish Stock (brown)

To start, there are two types of stocks – white and brown.

When you make white stock you place chicken, veal, fish etc. bones straight into the pan. Normally you get rid of the first water (for chicken and any meat stock). This way your stock ends up clear.

When you make brown stock you roast bones before placing them in the pan with water. You don’t need to get rid of this first water. As when bones are roasted proteins coagulate and with enough skimming stocks will be clear.

The obvious difference between those two types of stocks is flavour and colour.

Fish stock, from my experience, chefs make white. They are good for most recipes.

I made this fish stock brown and used it to make Bouillabaisse.

What fish bones to use – any white fish, basically. Avoid oily fish.

The recipe is forgiving, all amounts are approximate. Add less water if you want it to be more concerned.


  • 5kg fish bones (hi removed, head split)
  • 1-2kg miropoix (onions, fennel, leeks, celery)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 1tsp black peppercorns
  • fresh tarragon (optional)


1. Wash bones well. You can soak them in ice-cold water for a couple of hours, then rice.

2. Place bones on the gastro and place in a hot oven (200C) for around 30-40 min or until well brown.

3. You can roast vegetables in the same trays after. The taste will be even more concentrated. Don’t forget to deglaze trays.

4. Place bones, vegetables and herbs into a pot and cover with cold water. Gently bring to the boil and skim the first scam. Cook on low heat for about 1.5 hours, constantly skimming.

5. Strain the stock and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it up to 3 months.

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