Fish Stock For Paella

Fish stock for paella is a very straightforward trick that will make your seafood paella shine. BTW, fish stock is also known as “Fumet” in Spain. In order to nail a seafood paella, it is essential to have a good fish base that reinforces and enriches the flavour.

The broth that we will make on this occasion will be perfect to make seafood paella, fish paella or mixed paella, or any seafood rice dish, whether soupy, dry or creamy. Everything will depend on the proportion of broth and rice.


The broths or fumet are very versatile and can also be used for other types of preparations, such as soups or creams, or sauces to accompany fish, seafood, meat or vegetables. Besides, it allows us to make the most of the leftovers from our pantry.

The applications of fish fumet are many: from fish soups, rice (fish paella or seafood) and sauces. We can also add a head of shrimp sautéed and flambéed in a frying pan to give it a powerful seafood flavour.

Seafood stock recipe for paella

Seafood stock recipe for paella is not difficult at all. In this recipe, we are going to show you in a simple way and step by step, how to make a homemade broth for paella.

It should be prepared in advance as it requires a while. It is convenient to use a large pot to make a sufficient quantity of broth, which allows us to keep it and to freeze it in several containers.

seafood stock ingredients

If we do not freeze it, it is important to know that this homemade broth for paella has a short life of a maximum of 3 days in the refrigerator.


  • 500 gr. heads, scrapes and bones of fish
  • Some prawns’ heads and skins (Without this, it’ll be just fish stock)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 tomato
  • A piece celery
  • 1 small potato
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Fresh parsley
  • 2 litres water
  • Salt

How to make seafood stock for paella?

How to make seafood stock for paella is something to be learnt by every paella cook, as this is the base of most of the seafood paellas. Then, here we have a simple fumet or fish broth that becomes a seafood stock by adding prawns.

How to make seafood stock for paella?

The process is only a matter of smashing and sauteing the prawns (if desired), boiling the heads and fish leftover from other preparations with some seasoning vegetables (carrots, onion, potato, celery, leek, etc.) to give it a better flavour.

It is important not to let a fumet cook for more than 30 minutes, because from then on it would start to sour. To make an ordinary fumet or fish broth, we will use the heads, scrapes and bones that we have leftover from cooking fish, preferably white gelatinous fish (hake, etc.).

Time needed: 40 minutes.

Prep time: 10 Min
Cooking time: 30 Min
8 servings

  1. Peel the prawns and add their heads to a pot with olive oil

    Smash the heads as much as you can and sauté (you can do it in a mortar in advance)

  2. Pour 2 litres of water and a good drip of white wine

    Heat the water
    pouring water into the pot

  3. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables and cut them into a few peaces.

    Add them in into the pot.
    Preparing vegetables

  4. Add the fish remains, too

    adding fish leftovers

  5. Let the fumet boil for 25 or 30 minutes over medium heat. If we leave it longer, it could make the broth too bitter.

    From time to time we are defoaming the impurities that are coming to the surface with a skimmer.

    Removin impurities from seafood fish stock

  6. When the fumet is ready, strain carefully

    Keep only the broth and discard everything else.
    straining stock

Adapt the recipe to your preferences

Cooking is a pleasure and not every blend can suit our taste when its about stock for paella. If you have vegetables that you like most, use it to make the fumet of your paella. What do you think of shrimp or clam chowder?

These are very good ideas that you can take to complete your recipe. Celery, zucchini, leek and pumpkin are an ideal basis for a vegetable broth. In fact, if you add a little mint, it gives it a delicious fresh touch, which contrasts perfectly with the taste of your rice.

And remember, never skimp on broth. As we cook the paella, the liquid evaporates as the rice absorbs the broth. You may need to add a little more to the paella pan for a milder touch. However, be careful with the amounts, depending on the paella style.

Anyway, if your paella is based on meat, you better use Paella Chicken Stock

How to keep fish stock

To preserve the fish stock we can freeze it perfectly, previously we had to let it cool at room temperature because it could spoil. In my case, I use some tappers of about 500 ml enter each so I know perfectly the amount of fish broth that I will use in a recipe.

Best fish and seafood to make seafood broth

To make seafood broth for paella, you can use heads, bones, skins or tails from:

  • prawns
  • lobster
  • shrimp
  • monkfish
  • hake
  • cod
  • bonito
  • halibut
  • rockfish (whole)
  • mantis shrimp
  • crab