Fish Fumet Questions!

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Joined Mar 24, 2011
I would really like to make fish fumet and i have a few different questions.

    1.) I have read that the best and the only bones to be used in fish fumet are saltwater white-fleshed fish like sole, halibut, flounder,    etc. Why is this?

    2.) I have also seen some recipes that call for fish bones (no heads) and i have seen some that call for both fish bones and heads. why do some recipes specifically say no heads?

    3.) Can i make fish fumet from freshwater fish bones? if so which fish?
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Although there might be a technical difference, I've always thought in terms of "fumet" merely being French for "fish stock." And proceeded from there.

I can't imagine any reason to not use the heads, unless they recipe required a very mild flavor. And in that case I'd use shrimp shells.

White-fleshed fish are usually used for the same reason; you don't want the fumet to be overpowering, and that can happen with dark-fleshed (which usually means both oily and strong tasting) fish. But if you want a stronger flavor, by all means use them. Heck, that's what dashi is all about.

There is no reason not to use fresh water fish if that's what's available to you. With the exception of the salmonids, virtually all fresh-water fish---from bluegill to bass, walleye, catfish,  and the pikes---are suitable.

If you want a stronger flavor, then use the salmonids.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2011
Hi,

Fish fumet commonly refers to concentrated fish stock.  The reduction concentrates all of the flavor, good and bad.  This dictates extra care in making the stock.

You want to use very fresh fish bones with no gills, blood, veins or fish skin (These turn a stock cloudy and gray).  Flatfish are preferred although any white fish is OK.  Thouroughly rinse the bones in cold water before starting.

Aromatic may include onions, leeks, fennel, parsley, thyme bay leaf and lemon.

Good luck,

Tim
 
5,192
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
Things might have changed over the years.

40 yrs. ago being trained. a Fumet was only made with the trimings of flat fish and white fish from salt water. We did reduce the white wine in the begining with the trimmings, onion and parsley. Then the cold water and boil 30 minutes. Done...  More like essence..We used a moderate amount of water.

Red fish fumet can be made with fresh water fish. It is more like stock.

hth

pan
 
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Joined Oct 2, 2010
There are a number of things not used in making fumet, such as oily fish like makrel, sardines etc. Fishheads are used, but without the gills and eyes as both can give a bitter taste.

Also, a fumet cannot simmer for much longer than 20 minutes or it will also taste bitter. After the fumet is sieved, it can be reduced to get a more strong flavor. 
 
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Joined Apr 21, 2009
I would agree with ChrisBelgium, that the heads can give a bad flavor if you aren't careful. Blood makes it grey, and eyes make it bitter. But if you remove the gills, make sure there isn't a blood seam up the spine between the ribs, and don't let the eyes burst,  (don't let it boil) the flesh and bones of the head will add to the flavor. The side benefit is that you get two poached fish cheeks halfway through the process!
 
5,516
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
Things might have changed over the years.

40 yrs. ago being trained. a Fumet was only made with the trimings of flat fish and white fish from salt water. We did reduce the white wine in the begining with the trimmings, onion and parsley. Then the cold water and boil 30 minutes. Done...  More like essence..We used a moderate amount of water.

Red fish fumet can be made with fresh water fish. It is more like stock.

hth

pan
I learned the same way when I was in Europe and that was a long time ago. We did not boil however we simmered about 1/2 hour.

Tis was Fume d Poisson  and then there was a Court Boullion which was done differently.
 
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Joined Sep 1, 2012
You only use white fish because red fish like salmon tend to be oily. Leaving the head on adds a lot of flavor so whether or not you leave the head is up to you. You can use fresh water fish if you really want. Fresh water is not as clean, if you think about a catfish, what do they eat. And is that really flavor you want.
 
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