Normally I stay away from fish stocks unless I’m going all-in with a chowder or asian soup. Fish stock is sometimes [expectedly] fishy and thin, not adding too much oomph to the final dish. It needs to really get dressed up to stand up to the bold flavors that tend to find their way into my kitchen.
But now, I’d like to introduce you to another completely serendipitous discovery, and new kitchen staple: Smoked Fish Stock. I don’t even know if this is a thing, but together we will make it a thing.
Smoked fish stock is a subtle, versatile, and multi-dimensional explosion of flavor — this umami-packed stock barely needs anything added to it. And it’s not overly fishy.
However, this is my kitchen and of course I’ll be turning it into all kinds of unexpected delights.
- Brine your fishies for about 30 minutes. Use 2 quarts of water with 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar.
- Smoke yo’ fish. We used salmon heads and sardines, because regular filets and steaks are boring. Plus you want as much cartilage and bone as you can get out of these babies. Gut them first!
- Smoke it in your smoker for about 3 hours. We used apple wood chips in the smoker, and an old IPA for liquid. Smoke them until they look roughly like this:…YUMM!!
- Next, eat the meat off your fish, or save it for a fish chowder that you’ll make later with your bomb fish stock…or invite your neighbors over for a “BBQ” and watch them squirm as they try to be polite and eat your smokey fish parts.
- Throw the rest of the icky bits – bones, cartilage, skin, heads, eyeballs, etc. – into your stock pot. Cover with water and simmer for 1-2 hours.
- Strain the broth, taking care to remove all the tiny bones. Toss the fish bits into your outdoor trash can and secure from prying wildlife. Don’t throw away indoors, as the smell will seep deep into your walls.
You can save the broth by freezing it, or you can make soup right away. Donald and I made 2 kinds of soups using this broth:
Shark Matzo Ball Soup with tofu, seaweed and pineapple (for Easter/Passover):
And Coconut Corn Chowder, with ginger, garlic, carrots, cabbage, onion, cilantro and tofu:
Interested in the recipes for these soups? Tell me in the comments section, and maybe I’ll whip up a recipe post just for you!