Preparing fish soup from scratch is a great way to use up leftover fish and use a broth that you can use to cook other dishes, especially sauces, soups, and authentic Hispanic recipes like sauces and rice dishes.
However, versatility isn’t the only advantage of a fish broth. Herringbone broth has been used in oriental medicine for thousands of years and is widely believed to offer various health benefits such as:
- Brain Health Booster (supposed to slow down cognitive decline and improve memory)
- High iodine content for optimal thyroid function
- Rich in calcium and gelatin for better bone health
- High in omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fats that our body needs)
- Rich in vitamins and nutrients
When learning how to cook fish in broth, it helps to know some basic tips to get it right. Here are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind when making fish broth.
- Wash or soak the bones beforehand or your broth may smell too fishy.
- If you don’t want to use the bones, consider replacing them with shrimp, crab, or lobster shells.
- Do not cook the fish broth for a long time. The recipes usually require a cooking time of 30 minutes. Do not go beyond this time, otherwise you will end up with a broth with a bitter taste.
- Depending on the intensity of the taste you want, you can strain the broth after cooking and then simmer it until it has the taste you want.
- Some people like to use the fish head in the broth, others don’t. Test how you like it best.
- It is preferable to use the bones of white fish and avoid oily fish, otherwise there is a risk of having an unpleasant taste. These fish are salmon and mackerel.
Whether you want to learn how to make a herringbone broth or a boneless fish broth, there are basic ingredients and steps that almost every recipe shares. The general idea is that you simmer the bones and scraps of fish with vegetables and herbs. Here is a typical fish broth recipe.
- About 3 pounds of fish body (skin, spines, and head)
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 chopped carrots (optional)
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 liters of water or enough water to cover the pieces of fish
- 2 bay leaves
- A handful of fresh parsley
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put the fish pieces in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Let boil and bring to a boil. Add the remaining ingredients, adding more water if needed to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes without a lid. Strain the broth and discard the solid parts.
You can store the broth in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze it for future use. You can keep it in the freezer for about two months.