Prawn Stock

Prawn Stock

I’ve had these images of this Prawn Stock kicking around for a while. The truth is, I thought I might lose your interest if I started posting things like recipes for prawn stock. I know that it doesn’t sound particularly interesting but please believe me when I say it is the best secret ingredient you will never again want to be without. You won’t necessarily want to eat it on its own, but when you add 1/4 cup to other recipes it turns them from delicious to crazy insanely delicious. And no, the dish you add it to won’t taste fishy in any way, just extra rich with a lot of depth. Every year during spot prawn season (from May to June) I freeze all the heads from the prawns I eat. (This past year my friend Jen brought me 2 huge bags of just prawn heads. Thank you, Jen!!) After the season is over I make up a big batch of this prawn stock then freeze it in snack sized ziploc bags in 1/4 and 1/2 cup portions. I generally have enough to last me till the end of the next spot prawn season. Next time you buy prawns, freeze their heads or even their shells from their bodies. When you get a large ziploc bag full you’ll have enough to make a batch of this.

Prawn StockI have to warn you: this stuff smells awful. If you’re familiar with Asian fish sauce you’ll have an idea of what this smells like. Don’t worry though, the smell won’t transfer to the dish you are making.

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5.0 from 4 reviews
Prawn Stock
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 large ziploc bag full of prawn shells and heads (this does not need to be exact!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon whole peppercorn
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a large pot. Add enough water to cover everything by 2 inches. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so that the water is just barely simmering. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Using a large spoon, skim any frothy impurities from the surface. Let stock cool slightly.
  3. Strain stock first through a large strainer, such as a colander, to remove the prawns and veggies.
  4. Next, strain the stock a second time though a fine mesh sieve.
  5. Let stock cool completely before freezing it.
Storing the stock in small portions will make it much easier for you to use. I use the small snack-sized ziploc bags and fill them with ¼ and ½ cup portions. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled (or more!) I make a huge pot once a year with all of the prawn heads and shells that I spend a year saving in the freezer.

Looking for recipes to use this Prawn Broth? Here are a few tasty ones: Dark Chocolate and Stout Braised Ribs Vegetarian Thai Curry with Udon Noodles Easy Baked Lasagna Soy Ginger Noodles Easy Vegetarian Chili Black Bean and Corn Chili with Avocado Salsa

About Kristen

Kristen Stevens is the creator and editor of The Endless Meal. She is also the owner of a small underground restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.
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  1. Peter says

    I leave out the veggies but add the seasoning, and also add a teaspoon of Shrimp and Crab boil liquid. Gives it a “kick”.
    Also take some of the liquid and add a bit of gelatine, allow to set. Makes a lovely jelly to go with fish or seafood.
    Will try with the veggies added next time

  2. Peter says

    Great stuff. Shucked 1Kg of good aussie prawns and thought what a waste to throw away the heads. Hey presto a quick google finds your website and now I have prawn stock for future soups.

  3. says

    I have made shrimp stock using the shells from the shrimp. I have never had prawns, but I am sure it would be very similar. I really love the stock that you get from doing this. I have used the stock in soup and was amazed at the flavor it added. Great post.

  4. Jura says

    I just fish sauce in a lot of my cooking and imagine that this prawn stock must be very similar. It would nice to have a homemade version so I will have to try this out.


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