If you make your own stock, most likely you are doing chicken stock, and maybe beef broth. I don't know too many people who make fish stock on a regular basis. But fish stock is delicious and it is so good for you; it's full of vitamins and minerals. Fish stock is especially high in iodine, which many of us are lacking in our diets. It is recommended to use the fish heads. Iodine is stored in the thyroid gland which is in the fish head.
The thyroid gland needs iodine to function properly, so if you have sluggish metabolism, thinning hair, low energy or low sex drive, fish stock may be just the ticket. Many women who have been through pregnancy and nursing find that they need more iodine in their diet. In fact, it was a long-standing tradition in Asia for mothers to make their daughters fish head stock after the grandbabies were born. When I had my baby, they gave me fruit juice at the hospital to stay hydrated. I would have much preferred to drink fish stock.
I also read in Dr. Cate Shanahan's book, Deep Nutrition that eating fish eyes are really good to improve eyesight. No, you don't have to pop out the eye and eat it — just make fish stock!
This recipe is modified from Julia Child's recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You can use any non-oily fish. Non-oily fish include whitefish such as cod, sole, haddock, whiting, halibut, flounder, or snapper. Do not use oily fish such as: sardines, herring, anchovies, salmon, trout, or mackerel.
I usually use Thai snapper because I can find them whole with the heads on. You can ask the fishmonger to fillet the fish for you — have him put the heads and tails and bones in one package and the fillets in another.
Onion, yellow or white, organic if possible (1)
Whole fresh, non-oily fish with the bones and fish heads and trimmings — cod, sole, halibut, haddock, whiting, halibut, flounder or snapper (2 pounds)
Parsley stems — not the leaves (6-8)
Lemon juice (1 tsp)
Sea salt (1/4 teaspoon)
Dry white wine (1 cup)
Enough filtered water to cover the ingredients by an inch
Optional: 1/4 cup fresh mushroom stems
1. Thinly slice the onion and separate the parsley leaves from the stems.
2. Add all the ingredients to a stock pot.
3. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
4. Strain through a strainer, with optional cheesecloth
5. Cool and refrigerate, then transfer to ice cube trays and freeze.
Photo credit:T-Oh! & Matt on Flickr