Pic of Cullen skink

Cullen skink

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Soups & stews

Cullen skink

Serves 4 50 min
Simple to prepare, this is a real meal in a bowl recipe, full of warming ingredients for a cold evening's dinner. It originates from a fishing village on the North East coast of Scotland. If you have an odd leek to use up, you could use that instead of or as well as the onion.


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, very finely chopped
  • 600g peeled potatoes, cut into 2cm dice
  • 800g sustainably caught naturally smoked (un-dyed) haddock (about 2 large sides)
  • 2 fresh parsley stalks (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 900ml milk
  • fresh parsley, chopped, to serve (optional)
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 35 min
  • Step 1

    In a heavy based pan, heat the butter until just melted. Add the onion and fry very gently for 12-15 minutes, until really soft and translucent (do not allow to colour). Leave to one side.
  • Step 2

    While the onions are cooking, in a pan of salted boiling water, cook the potatoes until tender, about 6-7 minutes, depending on the size of your dice. Drain, put half the diced potato in a bowl and leave to one side, and mash the rest.
  • Step 3

    In a large shallow pan (a frying pan is ideal), cover the smoked haddock (skin side down to start with), parsley stalks and bay leaves with the milk.
  • Step 4

    Gently heat to a simmer (do not allow the milk to boil) and cook for 2 minutes, then use a fish slice to turn the haddock over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the haddock from the pan to a dish, leave until just cool enough to handle, then flake into pieces, removing and discarding any skin and bones.
  • Step 5

    Put the flaked fish back into the milk and add the cooked onions. Season. Slowly simmer again for about 5 minutes. Add the mashed and diced potato and simmer for another couple of minutes or so, just enough to heat the potato through. Remove the bay leaves and parsley stalks. Check the seasoning and sprinkle over the chopped parsley if using, to serve.