Paulie's fish stock
( MAKES 1-2 litres )
Fish stock is a fantastic base for chowders, soups, seafood risotto, veloute and many more sauces. Paulie Hooton, head chef of the seafood school at the Auckland Fish Market, shares this recipe and says: "Unlike chicken stock or beef stock, fish stock is quick and easy to make. Rather than simmering away for hours, requiring continuous skimming and fussing, fish stock takes just 30 minutes on the stovetop.
“The best bones to use are ones from mild, lean, white fish; snapper is perfect. As a general rule, you'll want to avoid salmon, mackerel or other oily fish since their strong flavour will likely overpower your finished dish. I use snapper frames and heads. It is very important to make sure they are very fresh and rinsed well, removing any blood or residual organs. You can do this yourself or kindly ask your fishmonger.”
- Pour the water in a pot and add the onion, thyme, coriander seed, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, sliced lemon and fish bones and quickly bring to the boil, then immediately turn down to simmer. Do not boil. Remove the scum (coagulated fat and insoluble protein on top) by skimming the top of the stock with a ladle or large non-perforated spoon.
- Simmer for 20 minutes only – no longer as the calcium will start leaching out of the fish bones and make the stock cloudy and bitter.
- Strain through a fine strainer a little at a time ensuring that the bones are not broken as this can also create cloudy stock. To make a very clear stock it can then be passed through filter paper. Cool. Stock can be frozen if desired. Add to soups, chowders and sauces.