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Salmon Stock

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Easy salmon stock made with the head, bones, and any other leftover parts of fish. Better tasting and cheaper than any bought fish stock!

Salmon stock is the best thing you could possibly make with leftover salmon head and bones! Really! This salmon bone stock is just amazing!

salmon dumplings soup in a white bowl

I have been cooking the fish stock for years now, with every salmon head I’ve ever had and I even buy frozen packages full of salmon heads and bones just to make this fish stock. They are super cheap and the resulting broth is better than any ready-made stock I could possibly buy.

Not to mention that buying one packet of frozen heads and bones and some veggies costs less than buying one single jar of fish broth. And it definitely makes more than 2 cups stock!

Homemade Fish Stock with Salmon Balls


  • Salmon heads and bones. And any other leftover pieces, like tail, skin scraps, or bony bits of flesh.
  • You will need about 1 ½ kg/ 3.3 lbs, a little more or less is not important.
  • If you happen to have leftovers from other fish sorts, just throw them in the pot as well.
  • Whenever I have some heads, tails, or bones I freeze them until I have enough to make stock. The leftovers from just one fish will not be enough.
  • Vegetables: celery stalks, small fennel bulbs, leek, onion.
  • Spices: garlic, black peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, salt.
  • Other ingredients: lemon, white wine, olive oil.

How to make fish stock?

One of the great things about this recipe is that is so much quicker to make than any other stock or broth. Chicken and beef stock have to be cooked for hours and bone broths need to simmer on low for an entire day.

But that is not the case with the salmon stock or any other fish broth actually.If you cook a fish stock for more than 30 minutes, it will not taste good anymore.


  • Wash the fish parts very well under cold running water. Massage it lightly with your hands, and rinse again.
  • Prepare the vegetables. Clean and chop them roughly.
  • Cook the vegetables in the oil for about 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
  • Add the fish parts and stir gently for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the white wine, water, salt, and all the spices.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower the heat.
  • Skim the stock with a slotted spoon.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Line a fine-meshed sieve with a clean muslin cloth. Strain the broth into another pot.
  • Transfer it to clean, large jars or bottles and let cool completely.
homemade salmon fish stock in bottle and jar

How to store?

  • You can keep the salmon stock in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.
  • To keep it for longer, freeze it.
  • In this case, leave about 2 cm/ 0.8 inches headspace in the jars and don’t seal them. Just place the lid on top without screwing it.
  • Freeze for 4 to 6 months. It will still be ok long after that, but the quality is best if you only freeze for up to 6 months.

Uses for salmon fish stock

salmon dumplings soup in a white bowl

Salmon Stock

Easy salmon stock made with the head, bones, and any other leftover parts of fish. Better tasting than any bought fish stock!
4.67 from 18 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 3 liter/ 12 cups
Calories: 304kcal
Author: Adina


  • 3.5 lbs salmon heads and bones
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 small fennel bulbs
  • 1 medium leek
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 12 1/2 cups water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 small organic lemon
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt


  • Wash the fish parts very well under cold running water. Drain well.
  • Saute vegetables: Clean and roughly chop the vegetables. Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  • Simmer: Add the fish parts and cook shortly together with the vegetables. Add the wine, water, spices, and salt and bring to a boil, skim the foam, then simmer gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Line a fine-mesh sieve with a clean muslin cloth and strain the stock into a clean pot. Discard the vegetables and the fish bones.
  • Store: Pour the salmon stock into clean jars, let cool completely and refrigerate or freeze.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 1165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g
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Recipe Rating

Robbin Simon

Thursday 12th of August 2021

That was auto correct, I’m actually looking for the recipe for salmon balls.

Robbin Simon

Thursday 12th of August 2021

I’m getting ready to make the salmon stock, but the reviews are talking about salmon balls. The salmon balls are also pictured. I read the whole recipes and it doesn’t mention the salmon balls, but they look good. Can you direct me to the reviewer? Thank you, Robbin


Friday 13th of August 2021

Hi Robbin. To make the salmon balls wash and dry the salmon filet. Cut it into small cubes and place them in the food processor together with the lemon juice. Process shortly to finely chop the fish. Add the egg white, process shortly to mix, then add the heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Process again to obtain a rough paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl, cover with plastic foil and refrigerate while you prepare the rest. The paste will be quite runny, don't worry about it, it will be firmer after spending some time in the fridge. To make the soup pour 1 liter/ 4 cups fish stock in a pot. Bring to a simmer and adjust the taste, if necessary. Turn the heat to low. Use two teaspoons to take some fish paste from the bowl and form it into little elongated balls. I had 30 of them. Gently place them in the soup and let them simmer for 5 minutes. Take them out with a slotted spoon and place them in a clean bowl. In the meantime julienne the carrots and the leek and cut the celery stalk into fine slices. Pour the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot. Bring to a boil again and cook the vegetables in the stock for about 5 minutes. Place the salmon balls back in the soup and reheat gently. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and some white bread.


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

My kind of cooking

Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen

Saturday 13th of February 2016

This looks so easy and yummy. Loving this soup theme! No wonder it was so good! Absoluety amazing!

Jess @ Sweetest Menu

Saturday 13th of February 2016

I have never even made a stock at home before! This looks amazing!