Making Fish Stock


I like to buy fish in the wet market, not only because they are fresh, but also because the fishmonger is willing to clean thoroughly, descale, debone, make into fillet, or cut in anyway I like it to be. When I buy whole fish, I would throw away the bones and just use the fish fillet.  I don’t like fish with bones because it will be very difficult for my boy to eat. Sometimes, I put all the bones in a plastic bags, and after several trips to the wet market, I get one big bag full of fish bones, tails, and heads. So instead of throwing them away, I decided to make a big pot of fish stock.

Fish stock is, of course, healthier than meat stock. It is full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It is an excellent source of iodine, calcium, gelatin, DHA, and other things that are good for our body and brain. With the right method of cooking, the result is incredibly delicious. My husband even said (and I agreed with him too), that it tastes better than chicken stock. No fishy smell of course because that will ruin the taste of the stock. To get rid of the fishy smell, I always use lime juice and ginger to do the job.

Always serve the dish hot when you’re using fish stock. Add salt, some herbs and spices, carrots or other vegetables, homemade fish ball, prawns, or crab stick, and you’ll get a delicious soup ready for the whole family.


  1. Fish heads, spine, and any other remaining parts from the fish carcasses from 3 medium size fish (I used red and white red snapper carcasses). Wash and rinse fish bones thoroughly. Squeeze lime juice from 5 limes and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The lime juice will help reducing the fishy smell
  2. 1/2 large red onion, minced
  3. 5 garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 large onion, minced
  5. 2 thumbs of ginger, cut in thin slices
  6. 3 tbsp olive oil
  7. 1 lemongrass, take the white part only and crush it with the back of the knife
  8. 10 lime leaves
  9. 1 big celery (with celery leaves), cut into 6
  10. 1 tbsp of salt (optional, you can always add salt later when you are going to cook it as a soup base and add other soup ingredients)
  11. 2 L of water


  1. Heat a big wok with 3 tbsp of olive oil
  2. Add ginger, red onion, garlic, and large onion and stir fry until fragrant
  3. Add fish bones, stir fry until aromatic and the fish turn into white color (for about 5 minutes). This will help to get rid the fishy smell from the stock
  4. Add lemongrass and lime leaves and 2 L of water and bring to boil
  5. Turn into low heat and let it simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Don’t forget to skim off any scums that rise to the surface
  6. 15 minutes before you are going to turn off the heat, add celery and celery leaves
  7. Turn off the heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes
  8. Set up a sieve  over another soup pot or large bowl and strain stock from other ingredients
  9. Keep the stock and discard everything else
  10. The stock can be kept in freezer in a container or zip lock bag for further useimg_5398

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