During hot summer months, it is important to keep hydrated. While there’s nothing like a cold drink to quench the thirst, there are others ways to replenish lost body fluids without ingesting all the sugar that often goes with shakes and smoothies.
Serving a soup dish with every meal is a good idea. With seafood soups, you can use shrimp heads and shells, mollusc shells or the head and bones of a whole fish to make stock. This is how to make fish stock.
Making fish stock is simple. You need fish head and bones to start with. I am aware that fish head and bones are discarded in many Western countries and that’s really a shame because there is so much flavor in them.
If you prefer to use fish fillets in your fish dishes, buy a whole fish, ask the fish monger to fillet the fish for you then bring home everything — fillets, head and bones. You can now make your fish stock.
Place the fish heads and bones in a pot. Pour enough water to cover then turn on the heat.
Remove the scum that rises. Do this before the liquid comes to a full boil so that the scum floats on the surface. When the liquid reaches boiling point, the scum will disperse due to the agitation and will get boiled into the stock.
So, skim off scum before the water boils. You may use a special tool called a skimmer which is a flattened strainer with a long handle, or just use a regular ladle. Whichever tool you choose, you have to skim off scum several times because the scum floats to the surface in increments.
By the time the liquid comes to a rolling boil, you should have removed all the scum. Add your aromatics, season with salt and pepper, cover the pot and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
What aromatics should you add? If you’re making a large batch of fish stock that you intend to freeze and use in different dishes like stews and soups that taste quite differently from one another, then stick to the basics. Add a few cloves of garlic and halved shallots, and that’s it. When you use the stock to make a stew later, you can add more herbs and spices and they won’t clash with the flavors that are already in the fish stock.