Best Seafood Stock

The Best Seafood Stock for Soups and Chowders is made out of trash! Literally, all those shrimp, crab, oyster and clam shells you throw in the trash, along with herbs, spices and a tweak of chilies!

Homemade Seafood Stock
Homemade Seafood Stock

Who Loves Seafood Soups and Chowders?

Do you love a good seafood chowder, gumbo or bisque? Ever had Ukha (Russian fish soup), Cioppino (Italian fish stew), seafood Pad Thai, Moqueca (Brazilian seafood stew), or a good ole cup of crab soup? 

All of these delicious and healthy dishes have one thing in common; Seafood Stock! The best homemade seafood stock is so easy to make.

You just need a little extra time, your favorite flavor enhancers and a lot of shells or fish bones.

Seafood stock flavors
Seafood Stock Flavors

Homemade Seafood Stock Is The Best Secret To Great Chowders

A great stock for any type of soup or sauce, fish, vegetable or meat, start with the boiling of bones, shells, stalks and stems of things often thrown away. 

Why buy a flavorless carton of stock in the store when you can make a fabulous tasting stock out of trash!

The Best Seafood Stock Is Made Out Of Trash!

Every great chef or wise home cook knows that a great sauce, soup or stew depends on the flavors that have been slow simmered into stock. 

Fresh herbs, roots and spices have a chance to impart the most of their flavor when their essence has been extracted through a long and low simmer. 

Once a homemade stock has been prepared, you have the base for so many great recipes. Simply divide the stock into containers that can be frozen or stored in the fridge and the hard work is done way in advance. 


Why Is Homemade Seafood Stock Best?

FLAVOR! The choices for flavor are endless, when they have been boiled into a huge cauldron of stock. 

Have you ever opened a carton of store-bought stock and tasted it right out of the carton? Try it. What do you taste? Exactly!

Save the tomatoes or veggies you plan to use for later and don’t put them in the stock but by all means toss in all the fresh herbs you can get your hands on. 

Toss in a whole garlic, cut in half, a few onions, skins on but cut in half, chilies or just sweet peppers and salt and let the stove do all the work.

I don’t know what went into the making of store bought stock, other than way more sodium than I want, and not much in the way of distinct flavors. Homemade stock is Best!

Once the stock is made, fresh veggies can be added to the stock for a favorite soup, chowder or sauce.

fresh veggies for soups and chowders
Fresh Veggies For Soups and Chowders

Where To Get The Seafood Bones and Shells

Seafood Monger

When visiting your seafood monger and asking for a beautiful fish to be filleted for you, always ask for the head, bones and fins to be wrapped separately for you.

These scraps, often thrown away, are going to be used in your seafood stock, even if you don’t plan to make stock right away. Just freeze the bundle until you are making a seafood stock recipe. 


Conch shells
Conch Shells- Bahamas Flavor!

When you have enjoyed a lobster, crab or shell fish feast with family and friends, do the same; throw all those shells in a huge pot with lots of flavor enhancers, boil, strain and freeze. Top chefs use this method for their amazing seafood stock recipes. 

What to use for flavor enhancers? Oh, that’s the easy part: Everything! My approach to making a seafood stock, is to layer flavors of roots, stalks, onion and garlic.

These flavors that will deepen as they simmer, yet not detract from the flavor of the shells and bones. 

Once the pot is simmering away with all those flavor-rich shells and bones and strained, the scent that emerges from the steam will take you away! Memories of a hot summer day, fishing along the coastline of the sea, wind in your hair and salt on your skin!

Seafood Stock Is Made, Now What?

One day my chef son said he got a huge order or clams and did I want some. Of course. I was thinking mostly of the stock I could make with the.

 I wasn’t sure what I would do with the clams, though, once I boiled all their flavor into my huge pot for stock making. 

cooked clams
Cooked Clams

Once the shells opened in the boiling water, I just ate one of the clams. In a moment I knew I didn’t want to hide them in a chowder. They became the star on a bowl of pasts and garden fresh tomatoes. Simple. So Delicious. 

Since there were so many clams, more than I needed for dinner that night, I simply divided the cooked clams into individual bags to freeze and use as and when I wanted them. All the work was done. 

clams and garden tomatoes over pasta
Clams & Garden Tomatoes Over Pasta

Favorite Recipes With Homemade Seafood Stock

The list would be endless, depending on the type of cuisine because for sure, every culture has their own favorite seafood recipes. Here are just a few of mine:

Ingredients Needed

  • Seafood shells or Bones
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Bay leaf
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Peppercorn
  • White wine
  • Water

Equipment Needed

  • Stock pot with a lid
  • Strainer
  • Tongs
  • Slotted spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Mason jars with lids or airtight containers
  • Stovetop or burner
Best Seafood Stock

Best Seafood Stock

The best seafood stock is made out of trash… literally, all those shrimp, crab, oyster and clam shells you throw in the trash, along with herbs, spices and a tweak of chilies!
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Course: Soups
Cuisine: Fusion
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 5 quarts
Calories: 300kcal


  • Seafood shells or fish bones – 1 to 2 pounds
  • Olive oil – 1/4 cup
  • Onion – 1 large, chopped fine
  • Garlic – 3 cloves, chopped
  • Celery stalks and leaves – 3 or 4, chopped
  • Carrots – 2 or 3, chopped
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Parsley – a bunch, chopped
  • Cilantro – a bunch, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Peppercorns – 1 tablespoon
  • White Wine – 1 cup
  • Water enough to cover


  • Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot and add the vegetables. Stir over high heat for a 5 minutes until the onions become translucent.
  • Add the bones or shells, stirring for another minute or two until well mixed with the cooked vegetables.
  • Add spices and wine. Bring to a simmer, add enough boiling water to cover. Bring to a simmer again, turn down low with a cover on and simmer for an hour.
  • Let the stock cool then pour into jars to freeze until ready to use. It might be wise to place stock in both small jars or zip bags to use in a sauce, and larger amounts in larger jars for soups, stews and gumbos.


  • A note about added flavors, such as chili peppers, tomatoes, cream or any other additional layers of flavor; wait to add these when you have decided what recipe you will be using them in. For instance, if a lobster gumbo is what you’re after, and you know tomatoes will become an important part of the stock, you may want to smoke the tomatoes first, or perhaps use sun-dried tomatoes. These can be added to the stock at a later time. These added flavors can dominate the stock. You can add them later but you can’t remove their dominance once added. 
  • Nutrition

    Calories: 300kcal
    best seafood stock
    Best Seafood Stock
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