Here’s a simple seafood stock recipe that makes use of those crab and shrimp shells we always encourage you to save. With just a bit of aromatics and gentle simmering, shrimp and crab shells impart sweetness and depth of flavor to soup stock. For an enriched stock, substitute half of the water with bottled clam juice.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 to 5 cups crab and shrimp shells, from about 2 crab clusters and 1 pound shrimp
- Green tops from 1 leek or 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 6 cups water (or 3 cups each water and clam juice)
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
COOK THE AROMATICS
Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the crab and shrimp shells and cook, stirring and pressing until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the leek tops, tomato paste, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.
SIMMER THE STOCK
Add the water (or water and clam juice) and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the liquid is flavorful and slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.
STRAIN THE STOCK
Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing hard on the solids. Use right away or cool to room temperature and freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
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Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.