homemade fish brothHi everyone! Savannah here, and today I’d like to share a fish broth recipe PLUS a seafood risotto recipe I made using the broth. If you’re a seafood lover, or you find you tolerate fish better than beef, chicken, etc., or you just want some more variety to your broths… then this recipe is for YOU.

Why homemade broths?

There are so many FANTASTIC health benefits of consuming homemade broths, and if you’ve read the IBD Remission Diet you already know that Jini recommends people drink meat and vegetable broths in between the Absorb Plus shakes on the Diet. Drinking savory broths help to stimulate the appetite, because if you just consume sweet tastes all the time you’ll hit satiety quite quickly – and just not be able to face the thought of yet another shake!

If you alternate sweet and salty tastes, however, it makes it much easier to consume the number of calories you need each day from the Absorb Plus elemental diet shakes, and it helps keep the appetite stimulated.

Fish broth recipe

homemade fish broth

Cleaned trout just before fileting

Recently I’ve been spending lots of time in nature (the BEST free therapy!), and one of my favorite activities (along with hiking) is going fishing. Lately my boyfriend and I have been catching tons of trout in our area, and after fileting I decided to keep the bones and heads for a future broth.

For the recipe I’m about to share with you, I used 5 trout (heads and bones), onion, garlic, parsley, and a bit of lime thyme that I planted early last year which erupted like crazy! If you aren’t familiar with lime thyme, unlike traditional thyme it has a citrusy smell and taste to it that goes wonderfully with soups.

You can use whatever herbs you’d like, as well as omit or reduce the onion and/or garlic if you cannot tolerate them. It’s not a deal breaker if you omit them, but these ingredients really do give a nice flavor to the broth.


lime thyme

Lime thyme growing on my deck

  • Fill a pot with filtered or spring water and bring to a boil
  • Add sliced onion and garlic (big pieces are fine because you will strain out later)
  • Once the onions become soft and garlic fragrant, add in the fish bones/heads
  • Keep this at a soft boil for about 20 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer for 2-6 hours (I simmered mine for 6)
  • Stir occasionally and add any additional water if needed
  • 20 minutes before you’re finished cooking, add the parsley (contributes Vitamin K!) and the lime thyme
  • Strain out fish, onion, garlic, and herbs so all you are left with is the broth itself
  • Enjoy on its own or as a base for the recipe for your choice!

NOTE: I will say as this cooks the smell can get a bit overpowering, so I closed the door to my kitchen and opened all the windows as it simmered. Keep that in mind if you are planning to make this broth, and make sure you have a well ventilated place to cook it!

homemade fish broth

End result of the fish broth!

This both is super versatile, as you can drink it on it’s own, use it as a soup base, use it to cook rice or pasta in place of water, etc. Today I’m going to share with you a seafood risotto I made using it.

I will say risotto is a LOT of work, so if you’re not ready to be standing and stirring for a good 30-45 minutes then you may not want to tackle this endeavor.

But if you are a brave soul, this risotto really is satisfying to make – and of course eat! It really is worth the time and effort, as this seafood risotto came out AMAZING.

Seafood Risotto Recipe

You can use arborio risotto if you’d like, but I used an Italian rice called vialone nano because it is very hard to overcook! It is very similar to arborio in the way you cook it and in texture, so you can use whichever you prefer.

Generally when making risotto, you start by sautéing onion and garlic first. Once soft and translucent, you add the risotto (or vialone nano rice) to the pan and light toast for a few minutes. You want to make sure you don’t burn them at this stage, so make sure the heat is low. The rice will become fragrant, and once lightly toasted you add white wine and lemon to the pan. Once the risotto (or rice) absorbs the white wine, you will slowly add a ladle of hot broth. In this case, we will be using the fish broth we made! When the risotto absorbs all the liquid, you add another ladle of broth (and so on and so forth) until the risotto is cooked to perfection. It’s a process! But oh so gratifying.


Vialone nano rice


  • 2 cups Vialone nano rice (or arborio risotto)
  • 1-2 tbsp organic, cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (I used white)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic (I LOVE my garlic, so I used a bit more)
  • 1 1/4 cups of white wine (1 cup to steam clams and 1/4 cup to deglaze the pan)
  • 6 cups of fish broth (or homemade broth of your choice)
  • Tomato paste (can omit if too acidic, but it will not have the bright orange color to it like mine)
    • I used 4 teaspoons, but you can adjust according to your liking – the more you add, the deeper the color will be
  • Seafood of choice
    • I used pieces of trout fillet, pre-cooked & cracked crab (from my local seafood market) and clams in the rice
    • I then added seared scallops at the end
  • Lemon juice (used in conjunction with the wine to deglaze the pan, but also optional to squeeze over finished risotto!)
  • Some people will include parmesan cheese as well, but I did not include any dairy in this recipe
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Clams steamed in white wine and garlic

Clams steamed in white wine and garlic

I started by steaming the clams in white wine and garlic. You don’t need much wine for this –  I used about about a cup, maybe less. Make sure you only use the clams which open while cooking, as the ones that remain closed are no good. You can see in this picture that all my clams opened up, so I would say this was a success! =)

One the clams are cooked, set them aside to cool. Be careful, as the shells will be HOT! Save the garlic-wine juice you used to steam them if you’d like, as you can add it in along with your broth for extra flavor. I highly recommend this because it added such good flavor.

You can either choose to add the clams in shell to your finished dish, or you can shuck them and mix into the risotto like I did. I will touch more on this later, but once you set the clams aside you can move on to making the risotto.

Arborio risotto generally takes a bit less time to cook (about 25-30 minutes), but since I used the vialone nano rice it took a little longer. I’d recommend checking your risotto (or rice) at around 18-20 minutes in, then adjust cooking time as needed.

I also started with about 6 cups of fish broth, but the amount of broth you use can vary. I ended up using the juices from the steamed clams to supplement. If you find you need a bit more broth but don’t have any more, hot water works just fine too. Just make sure whatever liquid you are using is hot, but not boiling.

Risotto Directions:

risotto recipe

Voila! Seafood risotto ready to enjoy

  • Warm the olive oil in a large pan, then sauté onion and garlic until translucent.
  • Add your risotto (or vialone nano rice) to the pot. You want to toast the rice kernels for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally so the kernels don’t brown.
  • When the kernels become fragrant, deglaze the pot (loosen the stuck rice) with 1/4 cup of white wine and a squeeze of lemon juice. You can also use the juice from the steamed clams in this case, but up to you.*
  • Once the risotto (or rice) absorbs the liquid, mix together the water and tomato paste (if including).
  • Add this mixture to the risotto and stir until it absorbs all the liquid again.
  • Add a ladle full of warm fish stock to the risotto and stir continuously.
  • When the risotto absorbs ALL the stock, add another ladle full.
  • Keep doing this for about 18-20 minutes, as this slow cooking process with continuous stirring is what makes this dish so creamy and tasty!
  • Make sure you stir the risotto gently to distribute the cooking process evenly, and scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the risotto from burning
  • After about 18-20 minutes, check your risotto. If it is still a bit hard when you bite into it, then I’d recommend cooking for another 5-10 minutes (or longer if needed, just keep checking it and use your best judgement)
  • Keep slowly adding broth until your risotto is tender but still firm when you bite into it. Don’t overcook, as it will become mushy!
  • Once your risotto has reached it’s desired texture, you can stir in your cooked seafood of choice – this is where I added in the leftover trout fillet pieces I had, the cooked crab, and the cooked clams. I shucked the clams completely (removed them from their shells) and stirred into the risotto.
  • I also seared some scallops afterward, then topped the risotto with them.
  • Top off with another squeeze of lemon if you’d like, or some extra herbs, and voila! Seafood risotto with homemade fish stock.
seafood risotto recipe

Seafood risotto!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, as I promise it is worth the work! This recipe fed the two of us with leftovers, which we of course had no problem finishing. 😉

This dish is super versatile – remember if you’re not a seafood fan, you can substitute the fish broth with chicken, beef, or veggie. You can also use cooked shredded chicken, sausages, veggies, etc. instead of seafood – it’s really up to your taste!

What do you think of this recipe? Would you give this a try, or do you have any substitutions in mind?

Let me know in the comments!

*Deglazing a pan involves adding liquid, such as stock or wine, to a pan to loosen and dissolve food particles that are stuck to the bottom after cooking or searing. These cooked food particles add intense flavor to your sauce or stock.

Did you know?

“Fish broth will cure anything,” is a South American proverb Sally Fallon refers to in her article Broth is Beautiful. Broth and soup made with fishheads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances!

When broth is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin. This gelatin is very soothing and healing to the gut.

Don’t like fish? Here are some of Jini’s other broth recipes.