Fish stock

Just like all marine ecosystems rely on a productive seafloor, many recipes rely on a flavourful base stock. This high-octane fish stock can be used as a platform to create a variety of delicious dishes. 

Recipe by: Dallas Abel – Kai Ika Project Coordinator
Serves: 2L of stock
Difficulty: 1/5
Prep time: 20 min 
Cook time: 2 hours 
Part of fish: All fish offcuts.


  • 2kg of fish heads, wings, frames, skin and pin bones
  • 2 brown onions, quartered
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • A handful of parsley
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1 tsp of peppercorns (If you have them – colour doesn’t matter)
  • 1L of water
  • Add the following if you have them laying around:
    • Couple stalks of celery
    • A few carrots
    • 1 leek
    • 1 lemon
  1. Place your washed fish parts in a large pot with all other ingredients and water. It’s important not to ‘drown’ the boil up with too much water.
  2. Place the pot on a medium to high heat and bring to the boil. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat down to a medium to low heat. 
  3. Gently let the contents simmer for 30 minutes. Some people prefer not to disturb the fish bones. We don’t agree! With a wooden spoon, potato masher or another weapon of your choosing, bash the contents of the pot, paying particular attention to the fish. This releases the flavour and protein from the skin, bones and tissue, giving your stock a full-bodied depth of flavour.
  4. Give your stock another 1 hour on the stove. Once you have removed it from the heat, let it sit for ten minutes before straining.
  5. Allow the stock to cool before transferring to the fridge or freezing. 


• The stock will keep for at least a week in the fridge but it’s best to freeze it if not used immediately.