If you're anything like us, you'll have spent a lot of this year pottering around the kitchen trying out delicious recipes and home bakes. There's one recipe that we keep coming back to now that it's getting colder, and that's cullen skink – a local speciality from the town of Cullen in Moray, situated on the northeast coast of Scotland. 

Not heard of it before? Well, if this is the case, let us assure you that it'll quickly become a firm favourite! Yes, ok, there is a recipe for cullen skink that uses double cream and of course it is wonderful, but if you're looking for a version that you can add to your weeknight rotation that's a little healthier, we have one that doesn't lack in flavour!

It's a hard job, trying all the different recipes for a dish as tasty as this one, but someone had to do it and here we are with our winner - BBC Good Food's cullen skink is as good as any out there, quick and easy to make, and a bit lighter than the 'special occasion' versions, which we would absolutely recommend you try at some point as well (Christmas Eve, perhaps?). We made this many, many times earlier this year and now that the nights are drawing closer and the temperature is dropping, we'll be coming back to it time and time again. Here's the recipe below, tweaked to perfection:

(serves four, or two very hungry people!)

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 400g potatoes, diced (we've made this with peeled and unpeeled potatoes, both work!)
  • 1 pack of smoked haddock (usually comes in 280g packs from supermarkets)
  • 250ml whole milk (trust us, it's not as good with semi-skimmed...)
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • Chives to snip over the top (to taste, not essential)


  1. Melt your butter in a soup pan and fry off the onion until it becomes translucent. Add your diced potatoes and 250ml water (the original recipe says 300ml, but it's a better consistency with 250ml - entirely your choice), and once boiling just reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are softer.
  2. While this pan is simmering, lay your haddock out in another pan and cover it with milk. Cook it like this for around 5 minutes. Remove the haddock and put it on a plate to cool slightly. Once cool enough to touch, flake apart and check for any bones.
  3. Once your 10-15 minutes of simmering time is up for the potatoes, tip the milk into this pan and add in your flaked haddock, and cook for another five or so minutes - ensuring the fish is cooked through.
  4. Serve and sprinkle over some chopped parsley and/or chives. 

The best way to eat this? With crusty bread that has been buttered! This is one of our many efforts to the right, we can't wait to see yours if you attempt this classic Scottish recipe. What's more, if you have a version of this recipe to share, please do so and we'll give it a try!

Previous story Next story

Cullen Skink was published on 9 November 2020