Photo: Chef Ian Lai's

(Credit: JaBB via flickr)

Making soup using whole, sustainably caught fish is an excellent way to eat healthy, prevent food waste and save money.

Around the world, 35 per cent of all fish and seafood is wasted — even the most sustainable species — through processing, spoilage during transport, supermarket losses, going "off" in home fridges and uneaten at the table. A lot of ecosystem and industrial energy is used to bring fish to our plates. You can help reduce waste by using all parts of your sustainable seafood products.

While vegetable and chicken are popular soup stock options, fish broth is a great alternative. Some seafood stores sell fish bones and heads. Boiling these parts to make stock is surprisingly quick and not that messy. Most cultures use the whole fish — we're just a bit behind in North America. Here's a recipe from SeaChoice Ambassador Chef Ian Lai to get you started.


Fish stock (fumet)
Yield: 4 cups. This recipe can be scaled up to make as much stock as your freezer can handle.


  • 1 Tbs butter
  • Mirepoix
    • ¼ onion, finely sliced
    • ½ stalk celery, finely sliced
    • 2 mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 lb fish bones, cut and rinsed
  • ¼ cup white wine or dry vermouth
  • 3 cups cold water
  • bouquet garni, tied together with kitchen twine:
    • 3 sprigs parsley
    • 2 sprigs rosemary
    • 1 bay leaf


  1. Sweat mirepoix (vegetables) and chopped bones in butter for three to four minutes.
  2. Add wine and bring to simmer.
  3. Add cold water and bouquet garni. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Strain.

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