Seafood Stock

I’d read a meme that said why do blogs have to tell you a whole story? Just give me the recipe. I felt a bit attacked as I love telling about my recipes, but I also have had to scroll like I was on Wheel Of Fortune to see the ingredients on other people’s blog so I get it. I say all that to say I’m still going to add commentary as it makes me happy.

I created this recipe in an effort to do more with all of the seafood shells I constantly have. My mom, sister, and I are pescatarian so we all have an abundance of seafood shells. This particular recipe was created after making the Feast of 7 Fishes for Christmas a few years back. It was really good, but I hadn’t made it again until recently so I decided to share it. This recipe is a great way to heighten the seafood flavor in dishes that use sea protein. Seafood stock can be used in place of vegetable or chicken stock in a variety of recipes including cioppino, gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp creole, clam chowder, seafood chowder, linguine and clams, etc. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Oh! Also this is a huge recipe intended to be frozen and used as needed so don’t panic when you see the serving size 🙂

Serving size: 2 gallons (4 quarts)

Active time: 5 minutes

Inactive time: 4 hours


2 crab shells (including legs) IMG_3083

The shells of 4# shrimp

3 C. carrots (I used baby carrots but if you use full size just chunk them first)

1 stalk (the whole thing) of celery, chucked

1/4 C. minced garlic

1 onion, quartered

1 jalapeno, sliced in half

2 T. salt

2 T. granulated garlic

1 T. ground black pepper

Enough water to cover all of the ingredients.


1. In a large stock pot add all of the ingredients including the water to cover everything.

2. Give all of the ingredients a quick stir.

3. Turn the pot on to medium heat and cover with a lid.

4. After an hour turn the heat to medium low and continue to cook covered. You can give it a quick stir if you’d like.

5. After two hours remove the lid and very carefully taste the stock to see if the seasoning needs adjusting. I added 2T. salt, 1T. granulated garlic, and 1T. granulated onion (note: this is an additional amount of seasoning based on my own preference).

6. After four hours turn the heat off. Carefully remove as much of the shells and vegetables as possible and place them in a bowl until they cool and can be composted.

7. The stock needs to be cooled. I have an ice paddle so I was able to cool the stock fairly quickly. If you do not have had an ice paddle small amounts of stock can be added to an ice bath (ice water in a large bowl and the stock in a smaller bowl that floats in the ice water). Once the stock is cooled it can be stored in the refrigerator for a 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


8. When the stock is cooled place cheesecloth over a large bowl and pour the stock onto the cheesecloth to strain it of its remaining solids. If you don’t have cheesecloth you can use a strainer lined with paper towels. You will need to change the paper towels frequently to avoid holes that allow solids to pass.

9. When you are ready to use the stock you can either defrost it in the refrigerator overnight, add it frozen to a pot on medium heat, or defrost it in the microwave. It is then ready to be added to your dish. Please note that this is a seasoned stock so be mindful to taste as you go as to not end up over seasoning your food.


Notes and Variations:

  • Any seafood shells can be used for this recipe.
  • I used both cooked and seasoned crab leg shells from a previous dinner (no need to rinse off your seasoning before using them) as well as raw shrimp shells.
  • Be sure to refrigerate the shells you are collecting for up to 4 days or freeze them if you don’t have enough collected to make this recipe or will not make the stock within 4 days.
  • Leeks can be substituted for the celery if you are like a friend of mine who hates celery 🙂
  • A quick note about celery is that the best flavor is in the leaves in the center of the stalk. You know the part most people throw away? Always add them to whatever you are making and live your best celery life. Unless you are like my friend mentioned above 😛
  • The seasoning can be altered to taste.
  • Herbs can be added. I choose not to add them so I have more of a blank slate to work from.
  • #=pounds
  • C=cups
  • T=tablespoons
  • t=teaspoons

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