The Ultimate Substitute for Seafood Stock – No More Fussing in the Kitchen!

Seafood stock is an important ingredient in many surf and turf recipes. It offers a robust flavor with hints of fishy, savory undertones in all your favorite meals. So when you run out, it can be a bummer. And you need access to the best substitutes for seafood stock fast.

Luckily, you don’t have to look far. In the text below, we have a great list of the top eight substitutes for seafood stock. See what options you have right at your fingertips.

What is Seafood Stock?

Seafood stock comes from boiling portions of shellfish, vegetables, and herbs together. It is often made with portions of seafood you wouldn’t normally eat. You can use crab, lobster, or shrimp shells, bones, or meat. 

As the water evaporates, you are left with a thick gel substance known as stock. You can use the stock as is, or you can place it in a blender to puree it.

Seafood stock is flavorful but not overpowering. This ingredient is mainly used to bring out the taste of the other ingredients in the meal. Yet, it is also a tasty base for soups, stews, and sauces.

image of What can I use instead of Seafood stock

The Top Seafood Stock Substitutes on the Market

While there are many different types of stock substitutes available today, only a few made our list. We picked out the options that can take the place of seafood stock without ruining the recipe.

Here are eight alternatives to try when you run out of seafood stock.

1. Vegetable Stock Can Be a Great Fill In

If you don’t have seafood stock but need something similar to complete a recipe, try veggie stock. Vegetable stock is made like seafood stock minus seafood.

In this stock, you will get a variety of fresh vegetables and delicious herbs and spices. Remember, the vegetable stock doesn’t taste exactly the same as seafood stock. Without the craps, shrimp, etc., you won’t get a Mediterranean flavor.

You should use vegetable stock if you are working with other ingredients with robust protein. Consider vegetable stock in chicken noodle soup, fish stew, and fish and veggie stir fries. 

Directions: Use one cup of vegetable stock for one cup of seafood stock.

2. Clam Juice is One of the Best Options

Clam juice is another great substitute for seafood stock. If you are a fan of surf and turf, you probably already have a bottle in your fridge.

Clam juice is a popular ingredient in a variety of recipes because of its bold and unique flavor. It is a delicious way to spice up a seafood dish. Use it for your favorite fish dinners as a base or in salad dressings and sauces.

Directions: Use half a cup of clam juice for one cup of seafood stock.

3. Fish Stock (Makes Sense)

Fish stock is another obvious alternative to seafood stock. Many people feel they sound like they would be the same thing, but they are not.

In fish stock, you use the leftovers of fish like bones, heads, and meat, among other things. These are then put in a pot with veggies and spices boiling together and making a tasty soup.

You can use fish stock in almost any recipe calling for seafood stock. They both offer a strong and powerful seafood flavor. 

Directions: Use one cup of fish stock for every cup of seafood stock.

4. Wakame Seaweed Stock

Okay, chances are good you don’t have wakame seaweed stock on hand. But if you want an alternative to seafood stock because you want a different flavor, this is a great option.

Wakame seaweed stock is popular in Asian cuisines. As it sounds, wakame is an edible seaweed with a salty, briny, umami flavor profile. We love the sweet undertones it has to offer, which is different from seafood stock. 

You can substitute wakame seaweed stock in most recipes requesting seafood stock. This product will help bring out the flavors of other ingredients.  Use it in things like salads, fish stir fry, and many other seafood recipes. 

Directions: Use one cup of wakame seaweed stock for one cup of seafood stock.

5. Chicken Stock is Light and Tasty

Chicken stock comes from boiling parts of a chicken, vegetable pieces, and spices. This stock provides protein, vitamins, and minerals essential for good health.  It also tastes amazing in a variety of recipes.

You can replace seafood stock with chicken stock in any meal to eliminate the fishy taste. Try putting this ingredient in a dumpling dish, casserole, or dressing.

Chicken stock will provide a light and yummy taste to your dish without making the flavors of other ingredients.

Directions: Use one cup of chicken stock for one cup of seafood stock.

6. Beef Stock Works Well Too

You can use beef stock as an alternative, like you would chicken stock. However, beef stock is much more flavorful. This bold taste can overpower a dish designed for seafood flavoring.  You should always add water to the stock, diluting it to reduce the potency.

We really like this substitute because it is a typical staple item in many pantries. Thus making it easy to find in a pinch. 

Use beef stock in recipes like stews, marinades, and sauces. Remember that you won’t get the same seafood flavor, but the meal will be delicious.

Directions: Use one cup of diluted beef stock for one cup of seafood stock.

7. Dashi (Japanese Fish Stock)

Dashi is a must have in Japanese cuisine. It is a common ingredient in many dishes and is similar to American fish stock. This product comes from fish flakes and seaweed. Or the vegan version of kombu kelp and shitake mushrooms.

Because it is fish stock, you will get the seafood flavor you are looking for. But this item also offers a unique undertone. Dashi provides a smoky flavor that enhances the entire meal. It is the perfect ingredient for BBQs, smoked fish, and salad dressings.

Directions: Use one cup of Dashi for one cup of seafood stock.

Learn more: What’s A Good Substitute For Dashi? (#11 Might Surprise You!)

8. Takumi Stock Powder (Mushroom and Kelp Powder)

Another seafood stock substitute ideal for many recipes is Takumi stock powder. This is a favorite amongst Japanese chefs and is found in many Asian meals. 

Though this isn’t an ingredient found easily in local markets, it is one to keep on hand. The powerful, deep flavors from mushrooms, sardines, and kelp are prepared in powder form. You can sprinkle this ingredient into any meal for a seafood flavor.

You can use Takumi stock powder as a seasoning or in stock form. With this product, your food will have an umami flavor you will love.

Directions: Dissolve one TBSP of Takumi into two cups of water and use it for every cup of seafood stock.

Make Your Own Seafood Stock

If you are sick of running out of seafood stock, make your own and save it. Making seafood stock is easy enough and can save a lot of time and stress in the future.

You can make stock in large quantities and store it away for later use. 

How to Make Seafood Stock

If you want a great recipe for seafood stock, check out the one below. You will love the flavor profile and will never want to buy it again.


  • 1 pound of large shrimp (Just the shells)
  • 2 TBS of olive oil
  • 3 chopped celery stalks
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 peeled and chopped carrots
  • 2 cups of chopped onions
  • ⅓ cup of tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 sprigs of thyme


In a medium pot, warm the oil, and then add your shells, celery, carrots, and onions. Cook the items until lightly brown (about 15 minutes). Add in your minced garlic and cook for another minute. 

Now add the rest of your ingredients to ½ quart of water. Let the mix simmer for one hour, then strain into a container that can hold up to one quart. Press the vegetables and other solids, releasing liquid and flavor. 

Finally, separate the stock if desired. Then you can place it in the refrigerator for three days or freeze it for about a month.

This is just one of the many delicious recipes out there. You can find other recipes online or come up with your own. All you need is your favorite shellfish leftovers, vegetables, and a few spices to give it extra flavor.


Is Seafood Stock and Fish Stock the Same Thing?

No. Seafood stock comes from shells and other parts of shellfish. Fish stock comes from fish meat, heads, and bones.

What is the Best Substitute for Seafood Stock?

Fish stock or clam juice are the best substitutes for seafood stock. Both of these ingredients will provide a similar flavor profile. You can use either option in any recipe calling for seafood stock.

Is Seafood Stock the Same as Seafood Broth?

No. Seafood stock is more concentrated and has a bold taste. The broth is more diluted, and you typically use it on its own as a soup or something similar. 

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