As mentioned in ‘how to cook’, the best fish broth is made with lots of fish bones. And lots of meat on to it. The time of cooking is shorter than most for meat broths, but a slow simmer is appreciated for 1.5 hour. Do not make it too long as the fish meat may become chewy, and the bones could also disintegrate too much. After you cool it down, a good fish broth becomes a gel in the fridge. The gel point (the temperature where the gel becomes liquid again) of fish broth is lower than that of for example beef or pork. Therefore, some dishes where a fish broth gel is required will need to be served very cool, or sometimes can be spiked with some pork gelatin or a vegan alternative.
You will also notice fish oil on top. Due to the composition with many unsaturated fats, this fat may not solidify in the fridge. Treat it with care, it is very healthy, but can also easily oxidize.
the art of making fish broth
There is very little art in making this broth. Getting your hands on a fish head or sufficient bones from the fish monger is the most important task. Also, the broth flavor will be enhanced by using some smoked fish as well. In Europe that is a smoked mackerel, in Canada a smoked lake herring etc. Before the broth gets to simmer, remove scum as much as possible. this will improve clarity and a little bit the taste.
A large enough pan
what you need
- 1 large fish head with spine and bones grouper, halibut, etc
- 1 piece of smoked fish head of a smoked mackerel, or a smoked herring with bones
- 4-5 qt water
- 2-3 tbsp sea salt
- small bunch thyme
- 3 bay leaves
how to make the broth
Place the head and bones in a large enough pan
Cover the head and bones as much as possible with the water
Bring slowly to a simmer; when observing scum and froth, remove it with a sieve or straining tool
Then add the other spices and herbs
Continue to simmer doe 1.5 h
Then take the pan off the fire and take out the bones and head from the pan and place on a cutting board or the like
Remove the good fish meat and reserve. Discard the rest
Strain the broth through a wide maze strainer
Place the fish meat back to the broth. Taste it and bring to taste with salt, a spoon of sugar (optional) and pepper,
Fish broth spoils quickly, especially in hot kitchens, and so refrigerate as soon as possible or freeze it in a a few Ziplock bags
Food allergy & intolerance information: none
Obviously, the type of fish will determine the taste. one could also deal with several fish-types or heads. A small part of oily fish usually impairs a great taste.
Also, the use of a small amount of smoked fish meat, imparts lots of fragrance and taste.