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Shrimp Stock

Patricia Reitz

Stop throwing away your shrimp shells! Instead, little by little, stock pile them in the freezer until you have enough to make the most wonderful, flavorful, colorful shrimp stock.

So what can you do with shrimp stock? Use it to make soups and stews, like this amazing Maine Seafood Chowder. You can also use it to make things like paella, gumbo, or shrimp and grits - I bet you’ll find a delicious way to use it!

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Start by putting all your frozen shrimp shells in a large stockpot, about 2 pounds of them. Doesn’t matter if they’ve been previously cooked or not - just toss them in.

Next you’ll need kosher salt, whole peppercorns, roughly chopped carrots, celery, onions, and a couple of bay leaves (not pictured).

Also, a good amount of dried parsley. If you ask me, it’s a greatly underused ingredient.

Add the chopped carrots, onion, and celery to the shrimp shells.

Next in - the salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves.

Followed by the dried parsley.

Now top it all off with cold water.

You don’t have to do this, but if you by any chance happen to have a couple of empty lobster shells floating around in your freezer, toss them in too.

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Bring the entire mixture up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about an hour. Strain and discard all the solids and chili the remaining stock for up to 3 days in the refrigerator (or freeze for up to 2 months).

Items used to make this recipe:

Shrimp Stock

makes 4 quarts


  • 2 pounds shrimp shells (thawed or frozen, cooked or raw)

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped

  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley

  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 quarts water


  1. Place everything in an 8-quart or larger stockpot.

  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour.

  3. Strain and discard solids.

  4. Store strained stock in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

recipe inspired by Emeril Lagasse