How to Make Fish Fumet

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finished fish fumet in jug

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What you Need to Know to Make Fish Fumet

What Is Fish Fumet?

Fish fumet, pronounced “few-meh,” is a highly concentrated, yet delicate, fish stock that originated in France, made by simmering fish bones (and heads), vegetables (onions, celery, and carrots), and bouquet garni in water for an hour, during which the flavor is extracted from the bones and the other ingredients. Fumet is traditionally used as a base for soup, sauce, and seafood dishes. It can be made with various types of fish, including red snapper, perch, and bass. 

Fumet can be purchased at your local grocery store, but it is also relatively easy to make at home. When simmering up a fish fumet at home, be sure to avoid using the skin and bloodlines of the fish, as they may produce a cloudy end product.

Fish Stock vs. Fish Fumet

When it comes to cooking with fish, two terms are often used interchangeably: fish fumet and fish stock. But what exactly is the difference between these two ingredients?

Fish fumet is made by simmering fish bones with vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onions in water and sometimes white wine, which infuses the liquid with a delicate flavor. On the other hand, stock is made by simmering bones, scraps of fish meat, ribs, spines, and other fish parts in water. This distinction gives the stock a heartier flavor than fumet.

So, when should you use fish fumet vs. fish stock? If you’re looking for a light, delicate flavor, go with fumet. But if you want a deeper flavor that will really stand up in a dish, go with stock. And, of course, feel free to experiment until you find the perfect flavor for your dish!

Types of Fish to Use in the Fumet

We picked up some red snapper for this recipe. We use the heads and the bones to flavor the fumet. You may choose to use red snapper; however, the following other types of white fish are great alternatives:

  • Turbot
  • Bass
  • Walleye
  • Perch
  • Lingcod
  • Tilefish
  • Trout
fish fumet ingredients

Clean and Debone Your Fish

We removed the filets and the cheeks from the snapper and cooked them up for a hearty snack.

You may purchase fish bones directly from the fish store. However, if you cannot, purchase a couple of whole fish, remove the scales, skin, and fins, chop off the heads, remove the meaty bits, and use the remainder in the stock. Ensure you have a sharp knife and scissors handy for this exercise.

Finally, be sure to clean the fish bones and heads well with running water to remove all excess blood before adding them to the pot. Check out this video to learn how to clean, fillet, and debone a fish.

How to Use Fish Fumet

  • Cook up a flavorful fish stew
  • Cook rice in it to make a paella
  • Use it to flavor any rice dish
  • Poach a fish
  • Make a seafood risotto
  • Cook up a delicious lobster bisque
fish fumet ingredients in pot

Noteworthy Recipes to Try Using Fish Stock

Storing and Reheating your Fish Fumet

Store the fish fumet in the refrigerator and consume for up to 3 to 4 days. Otherwise, freeze the fish fumet for up to 2 months.

To reheat it, remove the fumet from the refrigerator or the freezer, and add the fumet to a saucepan. Place the saucepan on the stovetop at medium heat until warm.

fish fumet ingredients in pot
How to Make Fish Fumet
Learn how to make a classic fish fumet from fish bones and heads... it is extraordinarily flavorful and can be used in various ways.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Stock
Cuisine French
Servings 6
Calories 35 kcal


Fish Fumet

  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 red snappers bones and heads
  • 5 cups cold water
  • 2 tsp salt

Bouquet Garni

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 handful flatleaf parsley leaves
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 5 peppercorns


1. Cut the Vegetables and Prepare Bouquet Garni
  • Dice carrots, white onion, celery, and fennel. Finely chop flatleaf parsley and chives. Mince garlic and slice lemons. Set aside.
  • Cut the cheesecloth in a large square (with three to four layers) and place bay leaves, rosemary, flatleaf parsley, thyme, and peppercorns on top of the cheesecloth.
  • Tie up the cheesecloth into a bouquet and fasten it with a strand of twine or string. Set aside.
2. Clean and Debone Fish
  • Take two whole red snapper fish. Clean and remove the scales.
  • Chop off the heads of each fish. Cut out meaty parts such as cheeks and filets. Alternatively, you may purchase fish bones for this recipe.
3. Sauté Vegetables and Bones in the Pot
  • Place a medium pot on the stovetop at medium heat. Pour olive oil into the pot. Allow it to heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add carrots, white onion, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add red snapper bones and heads, sliced lemons, salt, ground pepper, and bouquet garni.
4. Simmer for One Hour
  • Cover with cold water. Simmer on low heat, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  • Strain through a fine sieve.


Calories: 35kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 794mgPotassium: 84mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1813IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Keyword authentic, cooking basics, Easy, flavorful
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About Savory Suitcase
Hello, I’m Kristina, Founder and Head Blogger of Savory Suitcase… the one-stop-shop for the international foodie. 

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Hello, I’m Kristina, Founder and Head Blogger of Savory Suitcase… the one-stop-shop for the international foodie.


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