Fish Fumet

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    3 to 4


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About


  • 6 to 8 pounds fish frames (with heads and tails but gills removed), preferably snapper, rockfish, halibut, and sea bass but no stronger-flavored fish
  • 2 tablespoons mild olive oil
  • 2 quarts water or to cover
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • 3 to 4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 5 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 4 strips lemon zest
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 4 whole coriander seeds
  • 3 whole allspice
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 walnut-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled (optional)
  • 1 dried red pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)


Rinse the fish frames well. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the fish frames and sweat over medium heat, stirring often, until the frames give off liquid, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and heat to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered 30 minutes, skimming the scum from the surface often. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate or freeze.


For shellfish stock, use the shells of 6 large lobsters, chopped as fine as possible, or the shells from 3 pounds of prawns instead of the fish frames. Simmer 1 hour, then strain and reduce by half.