Online Recipe Book

Basic Seafood Stock

Adapted from Prejean's Cookbook, by Prejean's Restaurant, c2004, p52
2 US gallons fresh; 1 US gallon concentrated; 1/2 US gallon very concentrated
Prep info
30 min prep & bring to boil + 2 hr simmer + 1 hr stand + 5 min finish + (opt 30 min or 60 min boil down)
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
3 hours, 35 minutes
Time required
3 hours, 35 minutes
Oven preheat
Not tried


  • 2 lb shrimp heads and shells (or crawfish)
  • 3 crab shells (original calls for "gumbo crab shells and pieces, or whole gumbo crabs")
  • 1/2 c clam juice (optional)
  • 3.75 L water (cold or room temperature; 2 US gallons)
  • 1 onion (quartered)
  • 1/2 carrot (and/or parsnip, cut into large slices)


1. Place the seafood shells and heads into a 6-quart stockpot.  Pour clam juice and cold tap water over shells.  Place pot on the stove over high heat.

2. While the pot begins to heat, prepare onions and carrot/parsnip and place them into the pot as you complete the preparation.  Be sure that vegetables are clean of dirt.

3. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-high.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 2 hours, stirring attentively and maintaining the liquid level in the pot.

4. When 2 hours are up, remove from heat.  Allow pot to stand uncovered for 1 hour.

5. Strain liquid into a tall container and let stand until any impurities come to the top.  Skim impurities off the stock.  Chill or freeze.

6. For concentrated stock. boil strained liquid until reduced by half volume to 1 US gallon.

7. For very concentrated stock, boil concentrated stock until reduced by half volume to 1/2 US gallon.

8. In all cases, allow to cool to room temperature before freezing.


Notes from source: You can use lobster shell for an even richer seafood stock.  Do not use fish bones of any kind.