Salmon bone broth is a great base for salmon soup. You can also use this salmon stock for paella and risotto or enjoy it as it is. This recipe is a traditional Scandinavian fish stock recipe.
In Finland, we use salmon broth as a base for Finnish Salmon soup. The broth gives such a deep flavor as a soup base. Fish stock can also be enjoyed as is with some tasty bread. Try for example this Sweet Archipelago bread as in picture below. Rye flatbread, or potato flatbread are also nice additions with this salmon stock.
Why you'll love this recipe
- A great way to use the Salmon "carcass". You get such flavorsome fish bone broth to use in many dishes.
- Salmon broth is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- A great soup to pack along for hiking trips in a thermos at wintertime.
- You can even add other fish bones to this salmon stock recipe.
- Salmon head and bones.
- Onion or/and leek
- Mixed root vegetables. For example, celeriac and parsnip are flavorsome.
- Lemon. This is optional.
- Fresh dill. Use the stalks and save the leaves for soup.
- Bay leaves
- Black pepper. You can use white pepper instead or both.
- Salt. This can be replaced with white miso paste
- Remove the gills from the head/heads and rinse your fish head and bones thoroughly. Wear gloves to make it less messy. The easiest way to remove the gills is to take a firm grip around them. Twist and pull your knuckle. You can use a pair of sturdy scissors as help if necessary.
- Peel, rinse, and chop your veggies into large chunks. Wash your lemon and peel or grate the zest (if you choose to have lemon in recipe)
- Choose a large pot to make your broth in. Sautee your veggies and dry spices in butter.
- Add the fish, lemon zest, and dill stalks (use the leaves for something else). Add the lemon juice if you want a more lemony flavor. Cover with water.
- Boil/simmer your stock for 20-30 minutes. It will form foam on top. Remove the foam with a skimmer or spoon/ladle.
- Strain your broth. You can use it as is or boil it a bit more so it reduces; this way, the flavors intensify even more.
Don't leave the gills in the fish since you get a bitter taste, and it makes a cloudy stock.
Tips and notes
- You end up having fish bones maybe from fishing yourself, or maybe you bought a whole salmon from the counter-do take the scraps with you to make this delicious stock.
- As a tip, fish counters often sell scrap pieces for a very affordable sum. Some stores might even give you some for free.
- If you have space in your freezer, you can freexe your fish bones and make this stock later.
- This is a great recipe to use your vegetable scraps also in. If you are one of those people who keeps a ziplock bag in your freezer to gather scraps, then use those in this recipe.
- To freeze this fish stock, ice cube bags are great. Then you can just pop one or two cubes in various dishes to get some salmony flavor.
- You can eat the carrots and veggies you used to make the broth if they were not just scraps.
Seasoning and variations
Fish stock is made in many countries, and all have special seasonings. This recipe has typical Scandinavian spices for fish stock. Scandinavian flavor profile has dill, bay leaves, root vegetables and pepper.
Even though I made this recipe with salmon, you can use any other type of fish to make a fish broth. I also love to make broth with perch and burbot.
Below some ideas if you want to test out different flavor profiles:
- A slightly more flavorsome broth, add a tablespoon of green curry paste. -What a mix of flavors, but they go so well together.
- To have delicious Thai spices in your broth, you can season it with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, some chili, and basil leaves.
- For a more Japanese-style broth like Dashi, use sea kelp to flavor. You can use miso paste instead of salt.
- French-style broth (fumet de Poisson) is flavored with thyme, pepper, clove, parsley, onion, celery, and dry white wine. It is used, for example, as a base for the bouillabaisse.
How to use salmon stock?
- Soups: A game-changer in soups from creamy seafood concoctions to hearty vegetable soups. Its rich and distinct flavor enhances a variety of soups, offering a velvety base for chowders or bisques. Below picture of a traditional Finnish salmon soup.
- Stews: Gives a subtle yet distinctive salmon undertone. Try for example a stew with salmon broth, some sour cream, mussels, prawns and some selection of fish. This can be made both as a white creamy version or one with tomato base. Some boiled rice or just a crusty white sourdough bread goes well with a fish stew.
- Risotto. Substituting traditional broth with salmon stock introduces a delightful seafood twist. The stock's rich flavor marries perfectly with creamy arborio rice, resulting in a luxurious and flavorful risotto. Incorporate ingredients like asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, fresh herbs to complement the salmon essence. I love to add some smoked salmon on top of the creamy risotto base-this makes the dish look luxurious and gives a nice flavor layer of smoked fish.
- Paella. This is traditional Spanish dish. The stock infuses the rice with a subtle yet distinctive oceanic flavor. Goes well if you want to make your paella with shellfish.
You can store your stock for 2-3 days in the fridge. Remember to make your broth from fresh bones. You can freeze your stock and store it for up to 3 months. My tip is to pour it into freezer bags and use it to give flavor to different dishes.
You can serve this broth for your dog. It is filled with omega-3 fatty acids. If you make this for a dog, you should not use salt or pepper in it.
Yes, you can. You need to thaw them first or cook for a longer time.
This depends on where the fish is caught. Nowadays, big fishes in the seas do have mercury, and it is recommended not to eat fish more than 1-2 times a week.
- Gravlax-cured salmon
- Creamy salmon soup
- Salmon sandwich cake
- Oven-baked sour cream salmon
- Salmon foil packets on the grill or oven
- 1 salmon head and bones
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 cup mixed root vegetables; celeriac, parsnip
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 bundle fresh dill
- 5 psc bay leaves
- 5 psc whole allspice peppers
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups water
- Remove the gills from the head/heads and rinse your fish head and bones thorougly.
- Peel, rinse and chop your veggies into chunks. Wash your lemon and peel or grate the zest.
- Sautee your veggies and dry spices in butter.
- Add the fish, lemon zest, and dill stalks (use the leaves for something else). Add the lemon juice also if you want a more lemony flavor.
- Boil/simmer your stock for 20-30 minutes. Remove the foam with a skimmer.
- Strain your broth. You can use it like this or boil it s,o it reduces a bit, and the flavors intensify. Then freeze the stock to use for recipes.