Caldo de Pescado (Fumet)

Want to learn how to make a good fish stock? We’ll show you how!

Fish broth
A good Fumet can make the difference between a bad and a good paella.

Caldo de pescado/Fumet which means fish stock, is not a typical Spanish dish. However, we’d like to add it because a good homemade Fumet can make the difference between a bad and a good paella or a poor fideuá and a perfect one. And the best thing is that it is so easy to make and is a great way to use up ingredients that you wouldn’t use (almost) anywhere else.

It’s a good idea to make a big batch of fumet as it is the base for many kinds of dishes. For example, you can use it to make a tasty fish soup. And if you have some left, you can store it in the freezer.

Caldo de Pescado(Fumet)

Serves: 4
Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 kg fish bones/fish scraps (you can use any kind of rock fish and shellfish as well).
  • 200 grams raw prawn heads and scraps
  • 1 glass Cognac
  • Olive Oil
  • Water



Clean the leek. To do so, cut off most of the green part as well as the bottom end. Peel some of the outer leaves off and wash the inner ones carefully making sure that there is no trace of sand or soil remaining. Cut the leek into big pieces. Peel the carrots, wash the remaining vegetables and cut them into big pieces as well.


Get a giant pot and add two tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Meanwhile, heat about 2 liters of water (depending on the amount of ingredients you want to add to the fumet) in a separate saucepan or boiler.


Add the raw prawn heads and scraps into the big pot. Press the heads gently with a wooden spoon to release their juices. Toss the onion and/or leek, including its inner leaves that you washed previously into the giant pot.


Rotate the pot occasionally so that contents don't get too burnt and add the rest of the vegetables (celery, carrots, tomatoes…) chopped into big pieces after two minutes. Fry for another two minutes, stirring from time to time.


Add the fish bones and scraps. Cook for another two minutes, stirring the contents and moving them around the pot. Add the cognac little by little. If you have some brownish stains on the pot left by some burnt vegetables or fish, you can “wash” it softly by scrubbing some of vegetables that should be slightly wet with the cognac.


Stir everything together for another minute or so and then cover everything up with boiling water. Add some salt, pepper and a bay leaf.


Turn your heat down to medium heat and cook for at least 30 minutes. Remove the greasy foam you will get on top of the broth with a spoon periodically.


Once it's ready, get a strainer and a big bowl or saucepan and pour everything into it, leaving all the ingredients in the strainer. You can get more flavor by compressing them with a big spoon against the strainer.


Leave the broth in the bowl or sauce pan until it gets cold and then pour off the greasy layer you will get on the top of the broth.

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