Category Archives: Fish

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.