I have a freshly made shrimp broth. Onions, parsnip, tomato paste and white pepper corns along with shrimp shells.

https://www.msc.org/where-to-buy/product-finder/products/cfpsproduct-19BA7EBA-B7E7-40E4-8C33-8566D3AF25A0 is similar to the shrimp I have used.

It was simmering for about 15 minutes, then I strained it.

It is my experience that more simmering makes it turn bitter or too compact (I'm lacking a better word).

Can I simmer/reduce the liquid to about half without imparting any off flavours?


3 Answers 3


Remove anything you suspect might affect flavour negatively (or, more simply, strain the whole caboodle), then reduce to concentrate flavour.

For fish broth, you shouldn't simmer the fish bones / heads for more than half an hour and I assume a similar rule applies for shrimp.

  • This is a common misconception.. this is only true for flatfish bones and heads. Simmering longer with other fish bones is just fine. Another option is to simply put the whole thing through a food mill or blender, and THEN strain ( or not). Much more taste. And if you put the residu into butter, you will have a lovely shellfish butter as well.
    – Marc Luxen
    Jan 14, 2016 at 20:25

After reducing the liquid to 50% at a low temp, I noticed no off flavours.


If you just want a shrimp broth to serve as a soup with noodles etc the there is no need to reduce it a lot, just simmer it until you have the depth of flavour you want and then strain and serve.

If you want to use it as the base for a sauce or bisque then it may be useful to reduce it to concentrate the flavour, however you will want to strain out the liquid before you reduce it and bear in mind that you will be balancing the strength or the reduced broth with other flavours in a sauce to the base stock doesn't necessarily have to be something that you would want to drink by the cupfull.

Also with shrimp/prawn broths it's especially important to fry the shells well before you simmer them as it's this caramelization which creates the flavour that you want. This is a bit different from meat stocks where you need really long slow to break down the proteins.

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