Fish Stock, Nage, Fumet [Say Foe-may]

Fish Stocks are prepared within 20-30 minutes, thus, a Quick Stock Type.

This is a White Stock, using Fish Bones, sometimes the Head or Tail of the Fish, and, Crustacean Shells, e.g., Cray Fish, Langoustine or Prawn Shells (“Blitzed up”). In the end, the Stock is Strained, and if reduced to a gelatinous consistency, the highly flavourful reduction is called a ‘Fumet’. A Fumet always refers to a Boiled Down highly reduced Fish Stock packed with flavour! We can poach Fish and Shellfish in these Fonds (making a “Nage”: A Fish Stock used for poaching then served with the item, reduced down and thickened with cream or butter), prepare sauces, soups or broths with Fish Fonds or cook classic Seafood Dishes in this medium e.g., Bouillabaisse (pronounced Boei-ya-baze) [A Traditional Provenꞔal Fish Stew from the Port of Marseille containing Fish, Crustaceans, Saffron, Herbs & Spices, Onions and Tomato]. Use it in your Paella (pronounced Pa-hie-a) or various classic Fish Dishes. Fish Stock is simply delicious and quickly prepared as to not lose the gentle aromatic oils from the fish bones and shells.

Cool it down within an hour. Bag into 500ml baggies. Label, Specify and Date – straight into the freezer and Voila!

Ingredients for a Basic 5L Fish Stock:

5kg Fish Bones or Crustacean Shells (Shells blitzed up)
600g Mire Poix Mixture (Onions, Carrot, Celery) [*see Fond Brun]
100g Leeks (Wash out all the sand!)
100g Mushrooms, Roughly Chopped
5l Cold Water
1L Crisp White Wine
Bouquet Garni [*see fond Brun] Traditional
Lemon Leaf, Bay leaf, Lemon Thyme (tied) [optional]
10 Peppercorns, black
Dash of Olive Oil for Sweating the Mire poix

1. Sweat the Mire poix until tender on a low simmer, stirring often. LOW HEAT!
2. Add the Fish bones, Crustacean Shells (Blitzed up Shells) and cover for 5 minutes.
3. Add the Water, Vino, Mushrooms, herbs, Bouquet garni and peppercorns.
4. Bring the Stock to a Gentle Simmer.
5. Skim the surface of all impurities sitting on the top of the stock. Keep a jar of water at hand and skim into the water. Discard.
6. Simmer this baby for on low heat for 20 – 30 minutes.
7. Strain the Stock.
8. Cool down within an hour. Chill or Freeze (Preventing Contamination).
9. Or bring the Stock to a boil and reduce into into a gelatinous consistency to make the Fumet. Serve as a broth or use in a sauce.
10. Cool down within an hour. Chill or Freeze.
11. To use as a Nage, use the Fish Stock to poach Fish or Shellfish in. Set the Fish aside, then bring to a rolling boil to reduce. Add a knob of butter or dash of cream to thicken up. Season the Nage and serve with the poached items. Enjoy!

Basic Vegetable Stock (Vegetarian & Vegan Option)

Ingredients for a 5L Stock

6L Cold Water
½ cup of Crips White Wine
150g Onion, sliced (keep the skins for the stock)
150g Celery
100g Leeks
100g Carrots
100g Mushrooms
50g Tomato
5 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
10 Peppercorns
1/2t Fennel seeds, Toasted
1 Clove
1 Lemon Leaf
Lemon Thyme Bundle
1 Red Chilli, seeded & halved (Optional)

1. For an Unroasted Fond Blanc: Heat the pan. When hot, add the vegetables, spices & herbs.
2. Sweat them for 5-10 minutes.
3. Add the water, Vino and flavourings.
4. Bring the stock to a boil. Reduce and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.
5. For a Roasted Fond Brun: Combine 100g of Tomato Paste + 2 Tbsp of light Golden-Brown Sugar with the vegetables.
6. Drizzle with olive oil.
7. Roast for 30minutes on 200◦C until caramelised.
8. Return the roasted veggies to the pot and add the liquids and flavourings.
9. For a refreshing Asian Stock, add a Bundle of Coriander (tied together with string) and the juice of half a lime. Then add 1Tbsp of Fish sauce and 1t of dried chili flakes.
10. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
11. Strain.
12. Cool within 1 hour. Chill or Freeze.

Court Bouillon
This is a Quick Stock used to poach Fish or Vegetables in.

Ingredients for a Basic 5L Stock:

4L Cold Water
2 cups White Wine
100ml Lemon or Lime juice
5 Carrots, Diced
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Onion Piqué (Raw onion, studded with cloves)
or Onion Cloute (Raw onion studded with cloves and 1 Bay leaf)
10 Peppercorns
Bouquet Garni Bundle

1. Sweat the chopped onion in a little olive oil for 5 minutes.
2. Add all the other ingredients and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
3. Strain the stock.
4. Cool within one hour.
5. Chill, label and date the stock. Place 500ml in freezer baggies and freeze.
6. Use this liquid to poach items in or as a Base Stock to Vegetarian Dishes.

Remouillage (Say Re-moo-jazhe)

Means “Re-wetting of the bones” in French. This is a “Second” or “Weak Stock” in which the bones from an already prepared stock, are saved and reused. The term also refers to “To Swim”, indicating that the bones are immersed in water. The used stock bones still contain flavour although mildly so… use this type of stock broth when your dish contains pungent flavours and you do not want the stock to “interfere” with your strong flavour profile, yet mild flavours are still imparted into the items being poached in the Remouillage.

Ingredients for a Basic 5L Stock:

5kg Used Stock Bones (Beef, Mutton, Lamb, Poultry, Game)
7L Cold Water
500g Mire poix
Bouquet Garni
10 Peppercorns
Pinch of Salt


1. Combine all the ingredients together in a large pot.
2. Bring to a boil, then slowly simmer.
3. Simmer the Remouillage Stock for 6-7hours.
4. Strain the stock.
5. Chill. Bag into 500ml freezer baggies. Label, Date and Name.
6. Use as a quick poaching medium or replace “Water for boiling” in recipes with this Quick Mild Stock.

Japanese Dashi
Dashi originated in Japan and is the family name for Stocks used in Japanese Cuisine. Dashi is used in Clear broths, to make Miso or Clear Noodle Soup, or, is used as a simmering liquid to accentuate the unique flavour profile of Japanese Cooking. It can also be mixed with starches like flours and used as a “coating” for grilled or fried foods.

There are Three Main Varieties of Dashi, namely Kombu, Shiitake and Niboshi.

The most common type is “Kombu”, a Water Base with Edible Kelp and/or Bonito Flakes, dried Tuna or Dried Anchovies in the broth. Kombu Dashi is very gently simmered and could become unpalatable when boiled, producing bitter unpleasant notes.
Other kinds of Dashi are produced by soaking Shiitake Mushrooms, Niboshi (Dried Baby Sardines) and kelp in water overnight or by heating them up in hot water very gently, and then, straining the broth.

Shiitake Dashi is made by soaking dried Shiitake Mushrooms in water for a few hours (even overnight), then gently boiling it to release the flavours. The dried Shiitake Mushrooms have a far more intense flavour than fresh mushrooms.

The unique flavour profile of Shitake Mushrooms produces the “5th Tasting Sense we call “Umami” – the ability to taste Savoury Textures like Anchovies, Olives, Compressed Tomato or Capers. It was in the early 1900’s that “the soaked kelp flavour profile” was so uniquely classified as the “fifth flavour tasting sense” the tongue receptors can synthesize in the body, and is called “Glutamic Acid”, a neurotransmitter in the nervous system of the human body.

Niboshi Dashi is produced by removing the heads and tails of the baby Sardines (to prevent bitterness in the broth) and then the tiny fish are soaked in water and gently boiled and strained.

We owe the Japanese scientist Kikundae Ikeda (1908) the honours who uncovered the chemical basis for “Umami”, the fifth taste sense in the Sweet, Bitter, Sour and Salty (and now Umami Savoury Textures) Tastes.

Dashi can be made using these three techniques. Substitute your Chicken Fond next time with Dashi, add it while Roasting a Leg of Lamb or make a simple Classic Japanese Noodle Broth – you won’t be sorry! This boy is PACKED with flavour!!! Hurray for Umami!!! The real Knight in Shining Armour!

Recipe for Dashi
1L Cold Water
30g Kombu Kelp

1. Dampen a Cloth and place the kelp into the cloth. Using both hands, press onto the kelp and clean the kelp with gentle movements running the cloth between your hands.
2. Fill a large container with water and add the kelp.
3. Let is soak overnight to extract maximum flavour.
4. Strain the Dashi. It is ready to use.
5. Alternatively, gently Steep the kelp in hot water for 35 minutes for 1 hour (do not boil!) As soon as it starts to “boil”, turn off the heat.
6. Remove from the heat, strain, chill, bag and freeze.
7. Shitake Dashi can be Soaked overnight as well. Repeat steps 1 to 4. That easy!

Recipe for Niboshi Dashi
30g Dried Infant Sardines (Niboshi)
IL of Cold Water

1. Pluck off the heads and tails of the dried Infant Sardines.
2. Remove the entrails.
3. Place the Sardines in a Sauté pan and “Dry Pan Roast” them over medium heat for a few minutes to caramelise. This step creates maximum flavour development.
4. Fill a large pot with water and add the roasted Anchovies.
5. Soak it overnight.
6. Strain the stock the next morning.
7. Refrigerate and use for cooking, or alternatively bag and freeze.

Insight to Other Types of Stock around the World.

South East Asia:
In Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar the humble Fish Sauce has become a staple in all foods poached in broths, noodle soups or simply just used as an “Umami” flavouring used instead of salt like in the classic dish “Tom Yum Soup”. Fish Sauce can flavour a dish, be the base to a humble aromatic stock or blend well with the unique Asian flours of the South. A definite “must have!” in any pantry – add Dried Chili Flakes, Thai Coriander, Coconut Milk and ample amounts of Sour Kamut Limes and you have got yourself an Oscar Grammy Winner!

The North and South of Vietnam was severely impoverished during WWII and The Vietnamese War. It was during great difficulty and suffering that the famous “Pho Bac” were created and is still enjoyed worldwide today. This Dish consists of Meat, Boiled Bones, Spices, Fish Sauce, Fresh Herbs and Noodles. Meat was not easy to come by, but bones were boiled to extract maximum nutrition and flavour into the broth. In the South, it is referred to as “Pho Nam”. Today, Pho has Fish Sauce as the Sauce Base, and, instead of cooking with herbs as we do in the west, the broth is served with bundles of Fresh Herbs and Noodles to cool off any Hot Humid Vietnamese Day. Utterly refreshing! Check out our Pronto Pesto Blog for the latest Pho Bac and Pho Nam Recipes and Subscribe today!

Chinese Stock is called Master Stock, which in term, refers to an aromatic broth commonly flavoured with Soy Sauce, Rice Wine, Sweet Spices e.g. Cassia Bark and Star Anise. This broth is used as a Poaching medium or to Braise Meat Dishes in. The Stock that is produced while cooking the items in is chilled, frozen and re-used, developing complex flavours by heavily “layering” aromas (old and new).

In Korea, soups are classically served as an Entrée Meal and is called “Guk”, a Thin Soup, or, “Tang”, a concentrated restaurant type soup. An example of this type of “restaurant style soup” is ‘Seolleongtang’, a soup produced by boiling bones or Ox bones in water until the broth is completely “cloudy” from releasing all the bone minerals due to the prolonged slow cooking process. The broth is “Milky”, often served with steamed Korean Rice, seasoned at the table and served with Kimchi (fermented Cabbage Leaves). This dish is associated with “the harvest festival” by King Sõngjong of the Joseon dynasty. This is a highly nutritious broth, eaten as a soup but also very flavourful to use as a poaching medium. Koreans also love to add chilies and Sesame Leaves to theirs “soupy broths” – they dine like kings and eat “Head to Tail” to commemorate the sacrifice their fathers made during scarcity in war times when food supplies were few. Subscribe today on and receive a classic Family Recipe for Korean Bone Broth!

“Yucatan’s sopa de lime” is a classic Mexican broth-soup that contains Corn, Chilies, Turkey and Lime. It is the Lime Juice that highlights this delicious, unusual Umami-flavour found in the base of this soup. Yucatan’s sopa de lime imitates a soup “classically found in grandma’s kitchen”. This soup is highly nutritious, hearty, and often also used as a flavour base or broth for cooking, poaching or to add flavour to other components.

In the hilly region of Fruili, the tradition of Butchering a Pig during the Autumn Harvest was the start to the “Pestat di fagnana” soup broth. Sofrito (Onions, Carrots, Celery) is “sweated off” very gently in the Lard fat from the butchered Pig together with herbs and spices. This is then stuffed into a Natural Pork Casing and hung in the cellar next to the other types of Salamis or Prosciutto Hams for curing. Once cured, the casing is removed, and the “Inners” are stored in jars to use in the cold winter months. This cured flavourful “filling” is called “Pestat”. Pestat is then often fried off in Olive oil, together with Sofrito and other vegetables to create a flavourful Vegetable Bouillon Broth. This stock is then chilled, bottled or can be frozen and used in Classic Italian Cooking that “Shouts Flavour!” in many delicious traditional Italian Dishes.

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Laksa” is a Spicy Noodle Soup broth in Peranakan Cuisine of South East Asia. Chicken, Prawn or Fish serve as the base in this broth to which Wheat or Rice Vermicelli Noodles are added. This base is either Rich and Spicey with added Coconut Milk, or, interestingly Sour, derived from Tamarind or Gelugur fruit found in the rainforests of Malaysia. Some Laksas came from the ‘Chinese-Ming Dynasty-Malaysian- Cultural-Group’ called “Peranakan”, that is simply a Fish Noodle Soup with Coconut Milk and Spices, while the Local people’s Laksa is a thick, creamy, fragrant soup. The Peranakan’s version resembles a Prawn Curry, as to the local Laska, the Creamy Thick Soup. The “Malacca Laksa”, another type of Laksa, is believed to be introduced by the Chinese. Because of the diverse history and culture of Laksa, there are many versions created through the centuries. This is a fact – Laksa is indeed an aromatic “Wonder!” that could also be used as a poaching medium to Fish, Seafood and White Meat Dishes alike, or, eaten as a Crustacean Stew or Soup with Noodles or Vermicelli.

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