Traditional fish stock (Caldo de pescado)


(Makes 1¼ quarts)

Bones of 1 whole red snapper (see tips), including the head, washed well

4 sprigs fresh parsley

1 Spanish onion, peeled and halved

1 leek, well washed, outer leaves removed

3 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup dry white wine


In all the fish restaurants along the coast of Spain, fish stock is the common denominator. The caldo de pescado is used for fish soup, to make paella, and to form the base for many traditional fish stews.

Place 3 quarts of water in a stockpot, add the fish bones, and bring to a boil. Using a ladle, remove the white foam that forms on the surface (this w ill give you a cleaner, clearer stock). Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining ingredients, including the oil and wine. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, skimming the surface of the stock if any more foam appears.

Remove the pot from the heat and let the stock rest for 10 minutes; then strain it. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer until you need to use it.


You can substitute rock-fish for the red snapper, but don’t use blue fish like tuna. If fish bones aren’t available at all, buy 1 pound of mussel and simmer for 4 or 5 minutes with the other ingredients: you’ll end up with a stock that has a wonderful flavor of sea.


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