Lobster (Shellfish) Stock

This recipe works for lobster, shrimp, or prawn shells (crab shells don’t give up much flavor or color and are usually too hard to process).

Tossing raw shells in hot olive or canola oil in a frying pan for a few minutes to turn them red is passable, but I hate the flavor the shells tend to get (with the inevitable overcooking) in the oven. Boiled shells give a much subtler flavor.

If the shells are not cooked, steam them covered in a little stock or toss them in hot oil for 5 minutes over medium heat.


  • 4 cups lobster shells (from 3 lobsters)
  • 4 cups fish stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup dry white wine


Smash up the lobster shells and simmer with the fish stock and butter for 15 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for another 20 minutes. Strain, discarding the shells; cool the stock and put in the refrigerator. When the stock is cold, lift the lobster butter off the top of the stock and use for recipes calling for it.