Making a wild prawn stock recipe with BC spot prawn heads and shells is a no-brainer in terms of commitment and ease. This stock recipe turns food scraps and waste into a major flavor booster in less than an hour, unlike the painstaking process of wild bone broth stock using deer, elk, or moose.
Plus, why wouldn’t you want to make the most of wild BC spot prawns — especially considering they can cost $25-40 a pound at the grocery store?
Wild prawn stock tastes strongly of prawns with a very slight metallic aftertaste. BC spot prawn stock is pretty aggressive tasting, so it should be should be used sparingly if you’re unfamiliar with the flavor.
I recommend thinking about prawn stock as a cross between an Asian fish sauce and concentrated chicken bouillon (and using it as such).
You can use this wild prawn stock to give a powerful punch to seafood omelettes, crab and seafood gumbo, fishermen’s stew, bouillabaisse, paella, and similar dishes.
If you don’t have access to catching BC spot prawns yourself, you can still make wild prawn stock! However, due to the sensitive nature of prawn heads, I would recommend only using the shells of local prawn shells (not prawn heads) from local seafood markets and fishmongers (see note below).
The wild prawn recipe uses specific amounts of prawn heads and shells, but feel free to adjust the amount of prawn shells to what is available to you. Also, I only used garlic because I want to use the stock in a variety of dishes in the future, but you can use onions, celery, or no aromatics at all.
I would only make wild prawn stock from heads if I knew what kind of prawn bait was used to catch the BC spot prawns. As much of the digestive function occurs in the head region of a BC spot prawn, if you eat the prawn heads, I feel like you may be essentially eating whatever prawn bait was used, too. Only use prawn bait that you’d eat yourself, such as 100% tuna cat food.
Processing wild prawn heads and shells into stock can be very aromatic (not necessarily in a pleasant way). Use a well ventilated kitchen to process prawns unless you enjoy the smell of fish sauce and other strong smells!
Wild BC Spot Prawn Harvesting
Processing Wild Prawn Stock From BC Spot Prawn Heads and Shells
Separate the prawn heads and any excess shells from the wild BC spot prawns when you’re processing your prawning harvest. If you don’t have enough prawn heads and shells from your prawn fishing adventures, you can always freeze them until you have enough prawn discards to make a large batch of prawn stock.
Put the BC spot prawn heads and shells into a stock pot with peeled and smashed garlic cloves. Fill the stock pot with cold water until the water barely covers the wild prawns heads and shells.
Bring the stock pot to a boil over high heat, and then turn down the heat down to low. Simmer the wild prawn stock uncovered for 30 minutes in a well ventilated kitchen.
After 30 minutes, skim the gray froth that floats to the top of the wild prawn stock. Remove the prawn heads and shells from the stock pot. You can compost the wild prawn shells and heads in the compost.
Use overlapping coffee filters to line a colander (or use a fine metal sieve). Pour the wild prawn stock through the filter into a container underneath.
Your reduced wild prawn stock will be deliciously prawn-y and very strong tasting. Cool the stock and freeze in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.
More Wild BC Spot Prawn Content
Wild Prawn Stock Recipe (BC Spot Prawn Heads and Shells Stock)
Wild Prawn Stock (BC Spot Prawn Heads and Shells Stock)
Make this wild prawn stock from BC spot prawn heads and shells to maximize your local wild food harvest.
- 7 lbs BC spot prawn heads and shells
- 10 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- Cold water as needed
- Large stock pot
- Coffee filters and colander (or fine metal sieve)
- Large bowl or heat-safe container
- Freezer-safe containers or bags
Place BC spot prawn heads and shells and garlic cloves in a stock pot, and then add cold water until barely covered
Turn heat up to high until the wild prawn stock boils, and then turn down the heat to a very low uncovered simmer for 30 minutes
Turn off the heat and discard the froth and prawn heads and shells
Line a colander with coffee filters or use a fine metal sieve to strain the wild prawn stock into a bowl or container underneath
Cool, and then store in freezer-safe containers or bags in the freezer for up to 6 months
Process wild prawn stock in a well ventilated kitchen.