Loki Fish Stock

On Saturday I picked up twenty pounds of salmon frames and heads from Loki.  They are a local family sustainably fishing the waters of Puget Sound and Alaska.  Dylan manages the farmer’s markets and maintains their interesting blog.

At $1 per pound the frames were loaded with meat and perfect for stock.  Dylan supplied me with a recipe for Brent’s Special Fish Stock and on Sunday I set to work making it.  I used celery, onions, leeks, garlic, fennel, thyme and bay leaves from the garden. 

There is something so gratifying about having most of everything you need to turn fish bones into a first class meal growing in your yard!  Even more satisfying taking something that most of us would discard and turn it into a nourishing traditional food that will sit in my pantry waiting any last minute salmon chowders, Bourrides or Bouillabaisses.  I may even get some shellfish from Taylor Shellfish and make a paella one night.  The world is my oyster, so to speak.

The only change I made to this recipe is adding about 1/4 cup per pot of Rockridge Orchards apple ciderwhich has become my secret citrus replacer this year.  Need a splash of lemon?  Try it.  Especially in fruit jams or pies and even gravy.  It’s somewhere in between a vinegar and cider and adds amazing depth of flavor and balances acidity brilliantly.  I love the local and sustainable substitutes!  Although when my yuzu and meyer lemon start producing I’m sure I’ll be gushing about those as well.


Brent’s Special Fish Stock

1 pound of fish bones

4 large celery stalks – large dice

1 large or 2 small yellow onions - large dice

Top green part of 1 leek, washed and roughly chopped

1 bulb fennel – large dice

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups dry white wine (I used Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc)

1 T white peppercorns

1 T coriander seeds

2 bay leaves

1 T finely – ground sea salt

6 fresh thyme sprigs

  1. Roast the fish bones in a 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes
  2. Roast ingredients 2-6 for 15-20 minutes or until caramelized
  3. Put all the ingredients in a  heavy bottom pot and fill with water about 3 inches above the bones
  4. Bring to a full boil and turn down to a simmer.  Let the stock cook for about 2-3 hours, skimming any fat and scum that rises to the surface as it cooks.
  5. Stock will keep in the fridge for about 7 days, or in the freezer for a few months.


I strained my stock when it was cool.  The longer you leave the fish frames in the stock the fishier it will become.  After leaving my stock in the fridge overnight I carefully removed the fat from the surface then reduced it to half.  I canned it in the pressure canner on 11 pounds of pressure for 35 minutes.  Each quart will make a full pot of something this winter!

One quick and easy dish you can make with this stock is Saigon Fish Soup.  It’s a little like Pho in that once you  have the stock prepared the rest of the meal comes together in the same amount of time it takes to microwave something frozen.

I pulled some red dragon carrots (did I tell you how much I love these carrots?), leeks and Thai basil from the garden.  Once the carrot and leeks were approaching done I added some Loki Salmon but any fish would do.  You could use noodles or cook rice in the soup itself.  When the fish finished cooking in a few minute’s time I added a few cubes of the key lime juice I had frozen last winter, the thai basil and served it with the last of Tonnemaker’s jalapenos that I bought a few weeks ago just before the frosts started.

So quick.  So simple.  So yummy.

2 Responses to Loki Fish Stock

  1. Hi Annette,

    So I’ve been re-reading your posts since Jan 09 and I have lost count of how many things you’ve canned. Seriously, how many jars do you have in your pantry right now?? We have fixed-shelves (?!!!) in our pantry, so that limits the size and quantity of jars we can store! Ugh.

  2. Grace it’s funny you should post this. Right now I’m working on the summer section of the book and talking about how I canned the first summer away. I canned way more than we needed and realized I have totally missed summer. My goal is to can less and less every year and eat more seasonal things from the garden, or long storing things, or fermented things that store in my garage in jars or crocks. And sadly now that I am doing the book most of what I can goes to Chritmas or hostess gifts or to the publisher or the graphics team who have suggested that when I do book signings I bring jars of things with me for folks to sample. So its my goal but not happening yet. If you truly eat in season, there is no need to can at all. But then that gets kind of boring sometimes. It’s nice having salsa and peaches and tomatoes for chili in the winter too. So for now it’s still a goal of mine to not can at all.

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