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Brothl's Seafood Broth


Today we say goodbye to Ryan Bussey and Joost Bakker of Brothl! It’s been a brilliant month which we hope has inspired some 12 hr slow-cooked goodness in your own kitchen! Today the guys leave us with their popular seafood broth, served with mussels and bacon.  Using a broth base of fish heads and crustaceans simmered overnight, this one is powerfully pungent!

30th September, 2014
Joost Bakker & Ryan Bussey
Tuesday 30th September 2014

At Brothl we believe in using and consuming less, and respecting and utilising everything that enters our kitchen. That, to us, is inherently sustainable. We waste nothing!

For our seafood broth, we source fresh fish heads, bones, scales and fins as well as crab shells and other discarded crustaceans from our friends at a handful of Melbourne’s best restaurants, such as Rockpool and Attica, and we boil these down to create the most rich, nutrient filled and tasty broth.

Indigenous cultures across the world have regarded well made fish stocks as a medicinal ‘cure all’ for centuries. From improving eye sight, teeth and bones to promoting healthy skin and speedy recovery of wounds and broken bones, fish broth is the ultimate remedy.

We also include sea vegetables such as kelp in this broth, which as we have mentioned is a source of agar, and a great substitute for gelatin. Fresh kelp can be sourced from any clean beach! You can also buy dried kelp from The Staple Store in Melbourne, or any good health food store.

Our restaurant version of this broth contains bacon, but this can easily be omitted for those who prefer a seafood-only feast.

Ingredients (serves 4 - 6)

For the Broth Base

  • 2.5 kg fish bones, heads, crab shells etc.
  • 2 onions
  • 2 fennel
  • ½ head celery
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 5 litres water (we use rainwater)

To serve

  • 1kg mussels
  • 100g bacon, cubed
  • 125g brown rice
  • 500ml whey
  • 20g miso paste
  • Handful of sea vegetables such as kelp - buy from The Staple Store in Melbourne, or any good health food store.


Soak brown rice in whey and leave for 2-3 days until bubbles start appearing. This means its fermenting. Once fermented, bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 mins until rice is soft.

Place all broth base ingredients (fish bits, onions, fennel, celery and vinegar) into a large pot with and bring to 95 degrees celsius (slightly below a simmer) and cook for 12 hours. Strain. Once again, if sitting your broth on the stovetop for 12 hours proves difficult, you can transfer the pot to the oven and cook with the lid on at 95 degrees.

To serve, cook you mussels and bacon. Using a hot deep pan with a lid, cook your cubed bacon. Once bacon is cooked (2 mins or so), add mussels, rice, sliced kelp and 1L of broth, and cover for 2 mins until mussels are open.

Divide the mussel and bacon mixture between 4 serving bowls, and pour over some extra fish broth. Serve with lemon.

Brothl in Melbourne. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email