Fish glace starts with a fumet of white fish. Fish fumet is a type of fish broth. As mentioned in ‘how to cook’, the best fish broth is made with lots of bones. And lots of fish meat on to it. The time of cooking is shorter than for meat broths, but a slow simmer is appreciated for 1 hour. To make the glace, remove all bones, fish meat, vegetables and herbs from the fumet and concentrate by a slow simmer. After you cool it down, fish glace becomes a gel in the fridge.
Fish glace is an excellent additive for any fish sauce, or even to make a fish soup from. Dress fried, white fish with a fish glace containing some ginger or even clams.
the art of making fish glace
We work from a carefully crafted fish fumet, to which we have added only sparingly salt. The fish fumet is made by frying some vegetables on low heat and covering these with lots of fish bones. Then we add water, herbs and simmer for an hour. Removing scum, regularly. We filter this broth while warm over a dish towel or cheese cloth, to remove all irregularities and small bones. Then we use a skillet to concentrate the broth. Here add sparingly, but regularly some sherry vinegar, which provides an intense depth to the glace. But never add vinegar at the end, as we like to cook off most of the acetic acid vapors.
As you may experience the thickness or viscosity of the concentrated fish sauce is less than that of meat based glaces. This is caused by the lower gel point of the fish bone starch compared with that of meat. Therefore, if needed, we enhance the thickening with a little tapioca or corn starch at the end of the preparation. Taste regularly while concentrating the broth. Use salt only at the end of the preparation, to bring to the desired salt level.
A large enough pan
Ingredients to make the fish fumet
- 3 lbs fish bones and or fish head use white fish only
- 1 medium brown onion
- 1 leek
- 1 medium fennel
- 2 stems celery or some celeriac
- 1/3 bunch thyme
- 1/3 bunch tarragon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 quart (2.8 L) water
- 1/2 pint (0.23 L) white wine
Ingredients for the fish glace
- the filtered fish fumet from above
- sea salt
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
Making the fish fumet
- cut the vegetables in thin slices
- Add to a large enough pan the olive oil and bring to low heat
- Add the sliced vegetables
- On top add the fish bones and or heads
- Let slowly come to temperature
- When the fish starts to become white, add all the white wine, the salt, pepper and other herbs
- Then add the water and let come to a slow simmer. Do not rush
- When the mixture had simmered for 20 minutes, let it cool down with the lid closed
- When the mixture has cooled down enough, filter the liquid from the solids.
- Reserve this fumet for the next step
Making the fish glace
- Bring the filtered fumet in a large enough skillet.
- Bring the mixture to a slow simmer.
- Add some of the sherry vinegar, but do it drop wise and not all at the same time.
- Allow enough time for the acetic acid to boil off, before adding more sherry vinegar. Time the last addition 15 or more minutes before the concentration process is done, such as to prevent a too acid taste
- Taste the sauce while concentrating. Just before finish add salt to desired taste.
- You can thicken the sauce at the end with some (tapioca) starch, mixed in water.
- Let it cool down. The glace is very suitable for freezing.
Obviously, the type of fish will determine the taste. One could also deal with several fish-types or heads. As we concentrate the broth, leave out very oily fish, as upon concentration this does not provide a good taste. Stick to white fish.
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