Smoked haddock kedgeree is a simple dish made with seasoned rice and smoked haddock, and topped with slices of hard-boiled eggs. The smokiness of the haddock, combined with the warmth of the spices, creates a delicious dish that you can serve either for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
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What is kedgeree?
Kedgeree originated in India, the original name being kichari, and was originally made with rice, beans, spices and lentils. As with most other Indian curries, the British adopted it and changed it to their own tastes, in this case adding smoked fish and chopped hard-boiled eggs. Kedgeree, as we know it today in the UK, now bears very little resemblance to the original dish, but is nonetheless tasty comfort food that can be eaten for any meal of the day.
It is said that the late Queen Elizabeth II particularly enjoyed kedgeree as a breakfast dish.
Kedgeree is lightly spiced with curry, and this flavour is carried through into the rice, which is cooked with the spices before being mixed with poached flaked haddock.
It is a quick and easy meal to make, and you can have this dish on the table in under half an hour, which makes it an ideal meal for a busy weeknight.
And if you’re not a lover of smoked fish, you could even swap out the smoked haddock for unsmoked haddock, for a milder dish but with a less smokey flavour.
Let me show you how to make it.
What you will need
This recipe will make sufficient kedgeree for 4 people.
**You can get the actual measurements and full instructions for making smoked haddock kedgeree on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
Smoked haddock – if you don’t enjoy the flavour of smoked fish, you can use unsmoked haddock instead. That said, the fish is poached in milk before being added to the rice mixture, so the smokey flavour will be reduced somewhat. Smoked haddock is normally sold with the skin on. You can poach it with the skin on, and the skin will remove easily once the fish is cooked.
Milk – used for poaching the fish. You can use full-fat or semi-skimmed.
Bay leaves – these are added to the milk when the fish is poached. You should remove them once the fish is done.
Rice – I used normal supermarket basmati rice, but any white long-grain rice should be fine. I haven’t tried to make this dish with brown rice.
Curry powder – you can use either mild, medium or hot strength, depending on your own taste. I mixed one teaspoon of turmeric with my curry powder to get a bit of extra yellow colour in my rice.
Onions – these should be finely chopped.
Parsley – fresh parsley (not dried) – this is mixed in with the rice, and also used as a garnish on the finished dish.
Eggs – these are hard-boiled and cut into quarters before being arranged on top of the kedgeree.
Water – you will need double the amount of water (by volume) as rice. It is important to get the ratio correct – too much water and it won’t be fully absorbed into the rice and the rice will be mushy; too little water and the rice won’t cook properly and will be hard.
You can also add salt to your own taste. Smoked haddock is smoked, it will have quite a salty taste. For this reason, I find that a small amount of salt in the rice (about half a teaspoon) as it cooks is sufficient for my taste.
What do do
In a nutshell, there are the steps:
- Poach the fish in milk and bay leaves
- Fry the onions until soft, then stir in the spices
- Add the rice and water and simmer until cooked
- Stir in the fish and garnish with hard-boiled eggs.
Let me show you.
First of all, put the eggs on to boil. You will need one egg per person. As soon as the water starts to boil, set a timer for 6 minutes. Once the time is up, pour the boiling water off the eggs and fill up the pan with cold water from the tap to stop the eggs from cooking further.
Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, remove the shells and cut the eggs into quarters.
Poach the fish
Place the haddock in a frying pan, skin-side down, and cover it with the milk. Add the bay leaves. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until the fish starts to flake.
Allow the fish to cool, then remove it from the milk and flake it with a fork. Discard the skin and the poaching liquid.
Fry the onions and spices
Chop the onions finely and fry them lightly in 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil for about 5 minutes until they turn translucent. I like to turn the heat down and cover the pan with a lid for this step. However, keep your eye on them and don’t let them brown.
Add the spices and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Cook the rice and assemble the kedgeree
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rice until all the grains are coated with the onion spice mixture.
Stir in the water. Add salt to your own taste (if using). Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover the pan with a lid and leave for 10 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for a further 5 to 10 minutes. During this time, the residual heat will help to ensure that all the liquid is absorbed into the rice.
Once the fish has stood for 10 minutes you can remove the lid from the pan and fluff up the rice with a fork.
Stir in the flaked fish and most of the chopped parsley (reserve a little parsley for garnish).
Transfer the rice mixture to a serving dish and arrange quartered hard-boiled eggs on top. Garnish with the remaining parsley.
Smoked haddock kedgeree is quite a filling meal so if you are serving it as a main meal, all you will need is a fresh green salad and perhaps a bowl of peas or steamed broccoli.
If you are serving it as a brunch or breakfast dish, then buttered toast or warm crusty bread rolls make a nice accompaniment.
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Smoked haddock kedgeree FAQ
Yes, just as rice freezes well, so does kedgeree. Allow it to cool then pack into a suitable freezer container (without the hard-boiled eggs). You can freeze this dish for up to three months.
When you are ready to eat it, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator, or defrost it in the microwave if you are in a hurry.
Reheat it in a saucepan on the stove, and made fresh hard-boiled eggs.
Kedgeree can be served hot or cold, which makes it ideal for packing the leftovers in a lunchbox.
You can store kedgeree in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
A general rule of thumb for cooking white long-grain rice is 2 cups of water for every cup of rice. I use a 240 ml measuring cup for both the rice and the water. It doesn’t really matter what size of cup you use, as long as you use the same cup for both the rice and the water.
Save for later
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If this recipe isn’t quite what you are looking for, why not take a look at some of my other fish recipes?
- Cod mornay with prawns – succulent fillets of cod and plump juicy prawns oven-baked in a deliciously thick and cheesy sauce.
- Cheesy fish pie with a crispy topping – fillets of fish combined with a mixture of other seafood, covered with crispy topped mashed potatoes.
- Easy homemade fishcakes with a crispy coating – lightly poached fish combined with mashed potatoes, coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden.
- Spicy fish and rice bake in tomato sauce – chunky fish fillets oven-baked on a bed of rice in a spicy tomato sauce.
Smoked haddock kedgeree
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- 14 ounces / 400 grams smoked haddock
- 1 cup milk for poaching the fish
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium onions (finely chopped) approximately 1 cup
- 1 cup / 190 grams basmati rice or other long grain white rice
- 2 cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric optional
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley chopped
- 4 medium eggs
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying
- Salt to taste
- Put the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and let the eggs boil for 6 minutes. Once they have boiled, immediately pour off the boiling water and cover the eggs with cold water from the tap to stop the cooking process.Allow the eggs to cool and then remove the shells.4 medium eggs
- Place the haddock in a frying pan, skin-side down, and pour in the milk. Add the bay leaves. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) until the fish starts to flake.14 ounces / 400 grams smoked haddock, 1 cup milk, 2 bay leaves
- Peel the onions and chop them finely. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions lightly for about 5 minutes until they turn translucent. I like to turn the heat down and cover the pan with a lid for this step. However, keep your eye on them and don't let them brown.2 medium onions (finely chopped), 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- Add the spices and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes.2 tablespoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rice until all the grains are coated with the onion/spice mixture.1 cup / 190 grams basmati rice
- Stir in the water. Add salt to your own taste (if using). Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover the pan with a lid and leave for 10 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.2 cups cold water, Salt
- Once the rice has cooked for 10 minutes remove the pan from the heat and allow it to stand for a further 5 to 10 minutes. Do not remove the lid during this time. The residual heat will help to ensure that all the liquid is absorbed into the rice.
- After 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
- Stir in the fish and most of the chopped parsley. Reserve a little parsley for garnish.1 small bunch fresh parsley
- Cut the hard-boiled eggs into quarters and arrange on top of the kedgeree. Garnish with the remaining chopped parsley and serve.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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