At the Asian market, I also picked up lemon grass stalks and some dried, salted fish that have the words "stock fish" on the package. They are fishy, salty, and a little sour, so they give a little extra flavor.
Add in carrots, parsley stems, celery, onions, and bay leaves, and what you end up with is something really intriguing. In chopping up the fish heads and then in the initial 15 minutes of cooking, all you smell is overwhelming fish tang. It seems unimaginable that something tasty could could come out. Somehow, after stewing away, you end up with a stock that is fish flavored, but not fishy.
2 lbs fish parts (heads, skeletons, bones, etc), cut into large pieces
1/2 cup dried fish
1/2 cup shrimp tails (more if you have them)
handful of parsley stems
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 stalks of celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 garlic clove
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1-2 tsp. cajun seasoning
2 tsp. salt
Water to cover (10-12 cups)
- Place all ingredients in a large stockpot. Add water until everything is covered.
- Over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes. From what I read, if you cook to long, you end up with bitter stock.
- Remove from heat and let set for 15 minutes or so. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or a cheese cloth. If time permits, let cool for an hour or so to get the impurities to the top, then skim that off.
- This made about two batches, so I used one and froze the other.