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Substitute for Clam Juice

mmuch Apr 14, 2009 12:58 PM

Does anyone have a recommendation for a sub for clam juice? I am making a pasta dish with shrimp that the recipe calls for this and I don't have on hand. Could I make a stock with the shrimp shells? Any help, much appreciated!

  1. a
    Alice Letseat Apr 14, 2009 01:01 PM

    Yes - do the shrimp shell stock. Faster, easier - and okay instead of clam juice, for which there would be no subbing except plain water.

    1. b
      bnemes3343 Apr 14, 2009 01:02 PM

      From Cooks Thesaurus: clam juice = clam nectar Substitutes: equal parts chicken broth and water OR fish stock. Personally I would reduce it down by half with the shrimp shells in it.

      1. alwayscooking Apr 14, 2009 01:03 PM

        Use the shrimp shells and heads if you have them. Throw in some onions, celery, garlic, fennel if you have it, and peppercorns while making the stock. Simmer for about 45 minutes and strain.

        1. i
          irishnyc Apr 14, 2009 01:04 PM

          I ran into the same problem once, also for pasta and shrimp, I believe I just used chicken stock. Not as "fishy" but it did in a pinch.

          1. greygarious Apr 14, 2009 01:46 PM

            Add the liquid drained from a can of tuna if the shrimp shell stock isn't enough. For future reference, The Superior Better Than Boiullon line of bases makes clam base. Most supermarkets carry the chicken and the beef but I bought the clam when I saw it. I keep it in the freezer since I use it only sporadically, although it has enough salt that it probably doesn't need freezing after opening.

            1. m
              MakingSense Apr 14, 2009 02:03 PM

              Shrimp shells make great stock. Don't ever pitch them without making stock to keep on hand. I like it better than fish stock for seafood dishes.
              My favorite recipe works well even without heads, but is better when you have them of course. If you don't have time to make it, throw the shells into a ziplock and stick them in the freezer until you have time to make the shrimp stock later.
              This is free food!

              Saute the shells from one or two pounds of shrimp in olive oil with a chopped onion, two chopped stalks of celery, and one or two minced cloves of garlic for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are very soft and the shells are very crispy and bright.
              Add a scant teaspoon of tomato paste, a bayleaf, 3 sprigs of thyme, a teaspoon of cracked black peppercorns, a strip of lemon peel, and a quart of water. NO salt.
              Simmer for about one hour. The stock should reduce to about 2 cups and be quite rich.
              Strain and throw away all of the solids. Freeze what you don't need immediately. The stock will keep for two or three days in the fridge.

              I use bayleaf and thyme frequently in my cooking. If you don't, I would suggest leaving them out of your stock to give you more options for flavoring, or you might substitute whatever herbs you intend to use in your particular recipe.
              The tomato paste does not give a tomato flavor, just a certain richness and depth often missing in seafood stocks, although it does darken the stock.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MakingSense
                mmuch Apr 15, 2009 02:28 PM

                Wow, thank you! I'll give this "recipe" a try.

              2. a
                acidity Apr 17, 2009 05:43 AM

                An "alternate"--it's not really a substitute--can be to add wine. It can take the sauce in its own direction, so you need to be careful to use something that won't boldly go where you don't want, but think of it like moules marniere, there are tasty wine seafood broths and tasty seafood broths without wine.

                I make a clam sauce for pasta that is all clam juice when I use fresh, and is clams in wine when I use canned, and the parsley works fine either way.

                1. bgazindad Apr 17, 2009 11:37 AM

                  For the next time, Knorr makes shrimp and fish stock in cubes like chicken. I found them in an Asian market. I use them to make seafood gumbo, jambalaya, cioppino or any receipe that call for fish or seafood stock. However, I would not recommend you using Japanese fish stock or dashi. its bonita and very strong.

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