Shrimp Broth

by Evan Kleiman
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Shrimp brothIf you buy shell on shrimp or fresh shrimp with heads and shell you can make shrimp broth. It’s a very useful frozen pantry item to have for making risotto, fish soup or infusing a seafood pasta, or pan sauce with more flavor. And it only takes a half hour to make. In fact I never actually set out to make shrimp broth, it’s always a by-product of peeling shrimp for another dish, so it’s important to be flexible about what to put in the pot along with the peels in order to end up with a flavorful result.

With this batch I didn’t have any parsley in the house but I had carrots with tops. The tops taste like a combo of carrots and parsley so they’re perfect for any broth. I threw those in. Then I added a few peppercorns, some coriander seed (which for some reason I have in great quantity), a couple green scallion tops and some lemon zest and juice. I could just have easily added Italian parsley, red chile flakes, celery seed (I love the taste of celery in broths), chopped onion and some tomato sauce or fresh tomato instead of the lemon.

 

Unlike chicken or beef broths you don’t want to simmer a fish broth for a long time. Twenty minutes is enough to give you a sweet fragrant result without any “off” strong aromas. Also remember that you can make the broth to any scale even if you’ve only peeled ten shrimp. They are pungent and have a lot of umami flavor.

Shrimp Broth

Ingredients:

Peels from shelling 1 lb shrimp more or less
1/2 lemon
5 peppercorns OR
1 tsp red chile flakes
sprigs of Italian parsley or carrot tops
10 coriander seeds optional
2 green onion tops

Instructions:

Put shrimp shells and heads if you have them into pot. Add 1 1/2 quarts water. Squeeze juice from the lemon half into the water and throw in the squeezed half. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Bring the broth ingredients to a boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface if any. Lower heat so mixture simmers. Leave at gentle simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool in pot for 10 minutes. Strain. I store in small canning jars or zip bags in the freezer and use as needed.

 

Evan Kleiman is an active speaker on culinary subjects as well as issues of food culture and sustainability and, just to keep a balance, she has a very public love affair with Pie. She’s been called the Jerry Garcia of cooking with the freewheeling improvisation she brings to the kitchen. You can follow her exploits on her blog at http://www.evankleiman.com/

 

 

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