How to make paella fish stock

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paella fish stock
Fish Stock for Paella

One recurring question in our cooking classes is how we make the stock we use to make paella. We normally use fish stock when we make paella with any seafood or fish. This post gives you some guidelines on how to make good stock for paella. I say guidelines because there is not a single list of ingredients or invariable process.

In many cookbooks it is called fish “fumet”, which literally means “aroma” in French. Although I recommend having it made before you start preparing the paella, you can also make it during the same cooking season.


For 1.5 liters of stock:

  • 0.5 - 1 kg white fish bones and/or heads(monkfish, hake, haddock, cod, flounder, sole, turbot…)
  • 8 prawns
  • 1.5 l water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 leek
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10-12 pepper corns
  • 1 bundle of parsley
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Peel the prawns to use only their heads and shells. Keep the flesh for other dishes.
  2. Sautee the prawn heads and shells with a little olive oil, using a pestle to crush them and get their juices out. Cook until they get pink.
  3. Chop roughly the vegetables and add them to the saucepan. Sautee to sweat for a few minutes.
  4. Add the fish heads and trimmings, water, and spices. Bring to a boil, skim off the fat, and simmer at low heat for 45 minutes.
  5. Strain through a fine sieve and store. You can make portions and freeze them.

You can add more seafood to make it tastier: mussels, clams, crabs…

You can use a similar process to make chicken stock. In that case, use a chicken quarter, sauteing before adding the vegetables. That way, you will get the pan flavored with the skin fat.

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