Yield: 6 cups
The best fish for making broth is lean and light fleshed, like snapper,
pompano, halibut, hake and mahi mahi. Steer clear of oily, strong-flavored
fish, like salmon and mackerel.
pounds fish heads and/or bones
Tablespoon canola oil
medium onion, thinly sliced
carrot, thinly sliced
stalk celery, thinly sliced
cloves garlic, thinly sliced
tomato, finely chopped
sprigs flat-leaf parsley
sprigs fresh cilantro
quarts cold water
If you are using fish heads, remove the gills or have your fishmonger
do it. If the heads are large, cut them in half with a cleaver. (Or
again, have your fishmonger do it.) If you're using fish bones, cut
them into 3-inch pieces. Rinse the fish pieces under cold water to remove
all traces of blood. Tie the peppercorns, bay leaves, clove and allspice
berry in a piece of cheesecloth (or wrap in aluminum foil and pierce
with a fork).
the oil in a large pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and
cook over medium heat until soft but not brown, about 4 minutes. Add
the tomato and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high and add
the fish pieces. Cook until the fish pieces are opaque, 3 to 5 minutes.
the parsley, cilantro, spice bundle and water and bring to a boil. Skim
off any froth or foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and
gently simmer the stock, uncovered, until it is richly flavored, about
a strainer with paper towels and place it over a large bowl. Strain
the broth and let it cool to room temperature. I like to freeze fish
broth in 1 or 2 cup containers, so I always have a pre-measured on hand.