Make Seafood Stock in Mere Minutes

Making seafood stock is similar to making chicken stock; it takes time and attention, but the final result makes it well worth the effort. However, if you have a pressure cooker, the actual cooking time is only 5 minutes as compared to hours using the conventional stovetop method.

Here’s a quick way to make your own shellfish stock with the shells from crabs, shrimp, and lobster. Over the course of time, start stockpiling the shells in ziploc bags and freeze them until you have enough. It’s not above us to ask our waiters to bag up our crab and lobster shells when dining out for this very reason. You can also use mollusk shells, fish heads and bones.

Currently we have a stash of chicken, beef, ham, and now shellfish stock in our freezer. For storing purposes we reuse quart-size yogurt containers for 4-cup measures, and large ice cube trays for smaller amounts. These come in real handy when a recipe calls for lesser amounts such as a half cup or a few tablespoons of broth.



Seafood Stock in Pressure Cooker

  • Servings: 4 quarts
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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  • 6 cups shellfish shells, from shrimp, lobster, and/or crab
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 16 oz. clam juice
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Several sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10-15 whole peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. salt


  1. Place shells on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 10 minutes.
  2. Sauté the onion, celery and garlic on medium-high heat in your pressure cooker until lightly caramelized, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and deglaze pan, cook until most of wine is evaporated.
  4. Add clam juice and tomato paste and stir together. Then add herbs, peppercorns and shells. If there is any frond on the baking sheet, mix with a little water and pour into pot. Fill pot with water to 1-inch above shells, (which will float to the top.)
  5. Cover your pressure cooker and cook on high for 5 minutes. Use the natural release method for about 15 minutes.
  6. Put a colander into a large bowl and pour the contents into it. Using a large spoon, press the solids to release as much of the liquid as possible.
  7. Ladle through a fine mesh hand strainer into 4-cup containers with lids, and/or into large ice cube trays for smaller servings.
  8. Cool, and freeze what you won’t be using in the next few days.


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