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Fish Stock

I'm going fishing next week... and hope to come home with some yellowtail and dorado (mahi-mahi). Not the "lean, white fish like cod" most recipes call for to make fish stock, but also not like mackerel or salmon which are advised to not be used. Any experience?

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  1. Lucky you that you're going for tuna and dorado. My experience with fish stock is: Take the bones and whatever you have in the way of fish stuck on the bones, cover with water, add a peeled onion, a branch of fresh thyme (if you have it), bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and let her rip for about an hour. Turn off heat, allow to cool, strain, then reduce liquid to about half. DO NOT ADD SALT. Voila, fish stock. Whenever making stock, I NEVER add salt. You don't know what you may eventually do with it and adding salt while making stock will impact your final dish. You can always add salt later. Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: caiatransplant

      About adding salt, what if you are using fresh water fish?

      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

        I agree, on all sorts of stocks, with caiatransplant. If you salt even lightly, then wind up wanting to greatly reduce the stock for a sauce or other purpose, it might be too salty. Better to
        wait and later add appropriate sauce for the purpose for which it is being used. Also, if you use celery in your stock, that will add way more sodium than you'd ever expect.

    2. The bones from either would work fine, many japanese soups based on dashi use tuna bones. That said, i suggest to put aside a portion of your finished unsalted stock, and add konbu and miso as the base of a very flavorful soup. I love to use that and add al dente soba noodles, green onion, shitakes and spinach.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ttrockwood

        Sounds good... I love Japanese soups.

      2. Use the head. Kind of fish matters little. Stick to the head.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Just heads seem like they would be easy to manage...

        2. I take the fillets off, remove the gills and boil the whole frame including head just until the flesh starts to go opaque. That flesh will just slip off its bones as if it doesn't belong there. An 8 pound piece usually yields almost a pound of extra for chowders, salads or whatever.

          Then I return the bones and continue boiling. From start to finish generally takes me about 20 minutes of boiling. Then I pour everything through a sieve and.. done. Maybe I should boil longer, I don't know. But I get a pretty good basic fish stock. I add seasonings and extras later.

          I'm doing this with fresh water Salmon and Trout from Lake Huron. I don't understand the advice against Salmon.

          Now you've got me pumped as the fall run is about to start.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DockPotato

            I just hope I'll get something... My dad is coming too, and he's a real fisherman. Hopefully I haven't jinxed myself by sharpening knives today!

          2. My only fish stock attempt was many years ago, with a codfish head, and was a failure. I did not know the gills need to be removed first, and that the stock shouldn't cook for long.
            I believe I later learned that about 30 minutes is the max.

            1. Salmon frames are excellent in stock or in soup.
              Had an excellent soup, mixture of trout, halibut and salmon- all frames.

              1. Yes, no more than 20-30 or it gets cloudy. I never boil it. Just a mild simmer for about 20 mins then off the heat let it steep another 20-30 mins.

                Also, there's nothing wrong with adding a tsp of salt to 2-3 qts of stock. It actually makes it more stable and it's so little that it won't make a real difference in a recipe. I normally add a couple dozen pepper corns, parsley, a shot or two of white wine and some celery.