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crab broth recipe
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4.67 from 3 votes

Seafood Stock

The vegetables in here are what I use, and are open to substitution: The only ones you really need are the onions (or leeks), and celery. I also think fennel adds a lot here. If you can't find it, add fennel seeds, or even a shot of ouzo or other anise-flavored liqueur. Use any crabs you have available. A couple of pointers: Don't let this boil (you want a gentle simmer) and don't be tempted to simmer it for more than 2 hours or it will lose flavor and get cloudy. I typically go for 90 minutes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crab, shrimp
Servings: 5 quarts
Calories: 192kcal
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 1 to 2 pounds crab, lobster or shrimp shells
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Tops from 1 fennel bulb chopped
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, or a handful of dried, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt


  • Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot and saute the vegetables over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are translucent. Add the tomato paste, stir well and cook over medium heat for another 2 or 3 minutes, until it darkens.
  • Add the shells and bodies and smash them all with a potato masher. Mix well to coat with the tomato paste and to disperse the veggies. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring a couple times.
  • Add the white wine, bay leaves and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Let this cook for a minute or two, then pour in enough cold water to cover everything by about an inch; normally this is about 10 cups. Let this simmer very gently for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Add salt to taste.
  • Turn off the heat. Set up another large pot or bowls and put a fine-meshed strainer over it. Line the strainer with a plain paper towel or cheesecloth and ladle the stock through this set-up into the large pot or bowls. Do not try to get the last dregs of stock, as this will be full of debris. Discard the shells, etc.
  • Let the stock cool for 15 to 30 minutes, then use or pour into quart jars. The stock will keep for a week in the fridge. It will freeze well for 2 months, but after that it deteriorates rapidly.


Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4809IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg