Cullen Skink

those Scots eat some crazy stuff (stuffed haddock heads, fish haggis in a fish stomach! etc.). This is actually pretty good. Below is how I made it, adapted from a recipe in

The name of this rich, tasty soup comes from the fishing village of Cullen, in Morayshire. “Skink” is a soup made originally from a shin of beef. But in this case, the main ingredient is smoked haddock.

Approx 225g smoked fish (I’d prefer less but Julian liked it so) – I used smoked mackerel but you could be traditional & use haddock or try salmon
1 medium onion, finely chopped.
300ml milk
2 massive potatos, mashed (or 5-6 small potatos)
1 bay leaf
Chopped parsley
Cover the fish with water, in a shallow pan, skin side down. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4/5 minutes. Take the fish from the pan, remove skin and bones. Break up the fish into flakes, return to the stock and add the chopped onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Strain, remove the bay leaf but retain the stock and fish. Add the milk to the fish stock and bring back to the boil. Add enough mashed potato to create the consistency you prefer (don’t be afraid to make it rich and thick!). Add the fish and reheat. Check for seasoning (my fish was salty & peppery enough not to need any).

Serve with chopped parsley on top. This is a rich & filling meal in itself

2 replies on “Cullen Skink”

Hi Alex,

good question, I would try a german riesling (but then I always would!), otherwise you could try a nice crisp Aussie riesling if you prefer bone dry. I’m leaning towards the crispness & fruit as a contrast to the smokiness and fishiness, I think something like an oaked chardonnay may go under as the smoked fish may dominate the oak, but would love to hear how you go!

Would be interested to see how an Austrian Gruener Veltliner went, but I’m thinking this may be a bit out there as a match. Really if you’re Oz based I’d go with Jacob’s Creek riesling as an under $10 supermarket buy or go to an independent & get something like a Mitchell or an O’Leary Walker for around $20 (both from the Prince Wine Store in Melbourne) – budget blowing I’d go with a Grosset, but maybe this is not the dish for budget busting wines.


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