If you’ve never made homemade shrimp stock before, this is an easy way to discover the virtues of it. You don’t need a huge pot, and you only need shells from three pounds of shrimp. This will allow you to experience the deepest, sweetest, most delicate essence of shrimp. You will never throw away another shell.–Emeril Lagasse
LC Save Those Shrimp Shells! Note
Yes, you’ll need to save some shrimp shells before you can set about making this stock. A lot of shrimp shells. Although let’s be clear about one thing. You don’t want to be salvaging shells from family members’ plates after they’ve slurped spice from whole shrimp. No. No. No. Were talking about setting aside those shells that you peel from shrimp prior to cooking them. We even call ahead to our favorite fish counter and ask them to set aside shrimp shells for us when we know we want to make stock. As for what to do with the sweet, delicate stock that ensues? Why, you make the best shrimp n’ grits you’ve ever encountered.
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds shrimp shells (and heads, if available)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrots
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and smashed with the side of a heavy knife
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Rinse the shrimp shells and heads in a large colander under cold running water.
- Place all of the ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add enough water to cover the shells by 1 inch (about 3 1/2 quarts water). Bring to a boil, skimming the foam that forms on the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container. Cool completely, cover, and refrigerate. (The stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen in airtight containers for up to 2 months. You may wish to freeze the stock in ice cube trays until solid, then pop out the cubes and toss them in a resealable freezer bag and stash them in the freezer. Then measure how much liquid each ice cube yields by filling it with water and then pouring it into a measuring cup. When you need to defrost some shrimp stock, you can defrost the exact amount of stock that your recipe requires.)
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I live in the south of the US, where we have lots of use for shrimp stock—jambalaya, shrimp and grits, gumbo, etc., and I have used other methods of making my shrimp stock, which has been more complicated, but not as flavorful!
Honestly, even before I sieved the chopped veggies and shrimp carcasses out of the pot after cooking, I couldn’t keep my soup ladle out of it without slurping as much as I could possibly get in a gullet-full! I’ll be using this for some of my upcoming jambalayas and gumbos, plus a special lobster with cheese sauce and spaghetti.
I imagine this could be fabulous for a seafood risotto. There are dozens of other things I could think of for making with this stock, in addition to just drinking it straight out of the pot because It’s. That. Good!
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
I’ve never made shrimp stock before, but I know I’ll never throw out shrimp shells again. I usually have fish stock in the freezer, but this recipe was new to me. We had used shrimp at work, so I brought home the shells and heads to make this recipe. This makes a very delicate flavored stock that will enhance any seafood recipe. It’s really no different than making homemade chicken stock, but your shrimp dishes will be much better using this instead of chicken stock as most recipes suggest.