Cutting scraps are the perfect for making fish stock. Use fish stock in place of water to make soups, sauces and chowders more flavorful.
Ingredients 2 lb fish bones and 1 onion, peeled and chopped 1 carrot, chopped 1 stick celery, chopped 1 leek, chopped 1 tomato, chopped 10 black peppercorns 2 bay leaves 6 parsley stalks 2 cups dry white wine (if you have an Asian dish in mind, add 2 tablespoons minced ginger to the recipe)
Place all ingredients in a stockpot together and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. As soon as the stock comes to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook at this heat for 20 minutes. Cooking longer or at a full boil will cause the bones to break down and you’ll have a cloudy gelatin rather than clear stock. Skim any foam that comes to the surface. Strain and cool. Fish stock lasts in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.
Or, use those same fish scraps as garden fertilizer. Simply dig a hole approximately 8 inches deep near a flowering bush or tree and put in 2-3 cups of scraps. For smaller plants, create an emulsion from those fish scraps.
Fish Emulsion Fertilizer
Liquefy the fish and/or seaweed by placing it in a blender with warm water and blending thoroughly until you’ve created an emulsion. Pour the fish emulsion into a 5 gallon bucket. (Be sure to use a bucket that has a lid that can be sealed tightly.) Stir the bucket daily or every other day in order to get air in the mix for better decomposition and better aerobic microbial growth in the mixture. Add shredded newspapers, dried leaves, sawdust or brown grass clippings to the bucket to feed your fish emulsion fertilizer as it decays. Pouring molasses or pureed fruit into the bucket will help control odor while also contributing healthy microorganisms to your organic fish emulsion fertilizer. Wait 2 weeks until the entire mixture has turned dark brown before using. If you want to get rid of the fishy odor, you can add brown sugar, molasses or pureed fruit to the mixture and ferment a few days longer. If you prefer a thicker paste, start by filling the bucket 1/2 full with grass cuttings, sawdust, leaves, or straw.