Once you make prawn stock, it will become a kitchen staple. It adds amazing flavor (like fish sauce!) to anything you put it in. It's super easy to make and freezes very well.

A bowl of prawn stock with prawns on the side and some cilantro in the bowl

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 prawn stock recipes. 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 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 two 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 plastic bags in 1/4 and 1/2 cup portions. I generally have enough to last me until 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 resealable plastic bag full, you'll have enough to make a batch of this prawn stock.

prawn heads on a wooden table with a bowl of prawn stock in the background

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Recipes to use your prawn stock:


Easy to Make Prawn Stock

  • Author: Kristen Stevens | The Endless Meal
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: depends on the size of pot you use
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Asian


Once you make prawn stock, it will become a kitchen staple. It adds amazing flavor (like fish sauce!) to anything you put it in. It's super easy to make and freezes very well.

| gluten-free + paleo + Whole30 |



  • 1 large resealable plastic 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns


  1. Combine all ingredients together 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.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat then skim off the impurities (the white foamy stuff) from the pot with a spoon.
  3. 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.
  4. Let stock cool completely then store it in jars in your fridge for up to 3 days or in resealable plastic bags in your freezer for up to a year.


Storing the stock in small portions will make it much easier for you to use. I use the small snack-sized plastic bags and fill them with 1/4 and 1/2 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.

I 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.

For a more concentrated stock, you can boil it rapidly after you strain it until it is reduced to a few cups.