3 ratings

Shrimp Stock

Make good use of shrimp heads, tail, and shells by making this flavorful stock

This recipe for shrimp stock, courtesy of Lucy Buffett, comes from her cookbook Gumbo Love. 

"If you are lucky enough to get shrimp with the heads on, rejoice. Shrimp heads make the stock even richer and more flavorful. When making stock, I fill an empty liter Coke bottle (label removed) with water and freeze it ahead of time. When the stock has cooled down a bit, about 30 minutes or so, I plunge the frozen bottle into the middle to help cool the stock from the inside out. This is also how I cool down a pot of gumbo before refrigerating it."— Lucy Buffett



  • Heads, tails, and shells from about 5 pounds peeled wild-caught Gulf shrimp
  • 24 Cups water
  • 2 lemons, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, coarsely chopped
  • Handful of fresh parsley with stems, washed thoroughly
  • 1 Teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • White wine


 At least several hours before you plan to make the stock, fill a clean, empty 1-liter soda bottle with water to about 2 inches from the top, seal, and freeze it.

Run cold water over the shrimp shells to rinse. Place all the ingredients in a medium stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium, or until the stock is simmering. Skim off the foam that rises to the top. Cook for a couple of hours, skimming again about every 15 minutes.

Place the stockpot in an empty sink. Fill the sink with water and ice around the stockpot. Let the stock cool completely, uncovered. When the stock has cooled down a bit, about 30 minutes or so, put the frozen soda bottle in the middle to cool the stock from the inside out. Strain the stock, discarding the solids, transfer to storage containers, and refrigerate or freeze immediately.

Makes about 4 quarts

Adapted from Gumbo Love by Lucy Buffett (Grand Central, 2017)