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Shrimp stock is the best secret ingredient you will never want to be without. This quick and easy shrimp stock (AKA prawn stock) turns your dishes from delicious to crazy insanely delicious. It doesn't taste fishy, it simply tastes rich with a lot of depth. So, the next time you're peeling shrimp, save the shells and make this recipe.
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Next time you're making a meal with shrimp, don't throw away the heads or the shells from the bodies! Save them in a reusable container in the freezer. Once you have a large container built up, pull them out of the freezer and make a batch of this shrimp stock.
The stock itself also freezes well and is the perfect thing to store in ½ cup amounts so that you can easily add some to your next dish! The amount of flavor this will add to your savory dishes will have people asking for your secret!
How to make shrimp stock
Making shrimp broth is one of those things that you do for your future self, who will be absolutely delighted that you thought ahead! It's easier than you think, so your present self doesn't have to make any sacrifices either!
- Add everything to the pot: Combine the shrimp heads and shells, onion, celery, carrots, and whole peppercorns in a large pot. Add the water and bring it to medium-high heat, until it just about boils then reduce the heat so that the water is just barely simmering. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Skim the top: Skim off the impurities (the white foamy stuff) with a spoon.
- Strain: Strain stock first through a large strainer, such as a colander, to remove the prawns and veggies. Next, strain the stock a second time through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Cool: Let the shrimp stock cool completely and then store it in jars in your fridge for up to 3 days or in your freezer for up to a year.
Note that you can make shrimp stock, in its simplest form, using just shrimp and water, however, the vegetables really add wonderful flavor to this broth.
The full list of ingredients and recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
What's the difference between shrimp and prawns?
Depending on where you're from, you'll know these crustaceans as either shrimp or prawns.
While they look very much alike and taste incredibly similar, they are actually different animals. Prawns belong to the sub-order Dendrobranchiata while shrimp belong to the sub-order Pleocyemata.
As far as you need to be concerned, when used in a recipe, prawns and shrimp act exactly the same (but do consider that shrimp tend to be a little easier on the budget!)
Best of all, both shrimp and prawns work equally well to make this shrimp stock recipe or prawn stock recipe depending on which you're using!
What to do with shrimp stock
Shrimp stock, sometimes called shrimp broth or prawn stock, isn't something that you drink on its own. Instead, here are some ideas of what to make with it:
- Use it in soups: Try adding your shrimp stock to a delicious fish chowder, seafood soups, or stews. You can replace or substitute other broths or stocks where adding a gentle shrimp flavor makes sense, like this spaghetti squash shrimp scampi.
- Risotto or rice dishes: Use your prawn stock in dishes like this cauliflower rice risotto with spicy garlic prawns or try this in your favorite paella or jambalaya recipe!
More shrimp recipes
To collect shrimp shells to make this stock, try making one (or all!) of these delicious shrimp recipes:
Can I use prawns instead of shrimp to make the stock?
Yes, you absolutely can! Prawns and shrimp can be used interchangeably and both work in this stock recipe.
Which part of the shrimp should I use?
Shrimp heads and the shells from the bodies are good to include when making stock.
How long does shrimp stock last?
Store the stock in jars in your fridge for up to 3 days.
Can shrimp stock be frozen?
Yes! This stock freezes beautifully and you will almost always find some in our freezer. We like to freeze it in small portions so we can easily use what we need.
Can shrimp stock replace fish stock?
You can use homemade shrimp stock in place of fish stock or seafood stock (store-bought or homemade). You can also use this shrimp stock in place of clam juice.
Popular stock recipes
- 1 large resealable bag full of prawn shells and heads (this does not need to be exact!)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 2 medium carrots (chopped)
- ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Add enough water to cover everything by 2 inches. Bring the pot almost to a boil then reduce heat so that the water is just barely simmering. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.1 large resealable bag full of prawn shells and heads, 1 medium onion, 2 stalks celery, 2 medium carrots, ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
- Remove the pot from the heat then skim off the impurities (the white foamy stuff) from the pot with a spoon.
- Strain stock first through a large strainer, such as a colander, to remove the prawns and veggies. Next, strain the stock a second time through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Let stock cool completely then store it in jars in your fridge for up to 3 days or in resealable bags in your freezer for up to a year.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our shrimp recipes!