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Kedgeree is an old Anglo-Indian breakfast dish that was brought over to the Victorians in the days of the Raj. You will find several versions, some use spices whilst others do not. It all depends on whether you feel its roots are more Anglo or Indian.
A prerequisite is always the inclusion of smoked haddock, something that was added after the dish was firmly established in the UK, although here in the Pacific Northwest I have used smoked sablefish which makes a mighty fine substitute. It’s rich though, so I also used a plainer, albeit still meaty white fish. If you can’t source either, Bar Harbor dos an awesome can of natural smoked wild kippered herring which I was blown away by recently and would happily use instead. I have also chosen to include turmeric because of its healing qualities but if you don’t tolerate it, as is the case with my son, then leave it out.
If you’re in any way a fan of Downton Abbey, you will definitely be wanting this on your menu — for breakfast, as it was originally served, and ideally in a fine tureen should you want to keep up with the Crawleys. But to be honest I could eat this any time, any place, anywhere and out of anything.
- ½ lb smoked sablefish or smoked haddock, skin on
- 1¼ lb cod, lingcod or other firm white fish, skin on
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon solid fat, such as coconut oil or lard
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 large cinnamon stick, snapped in half
- 1 large cauliflower, divided into large florets
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped curly parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
- Generous pinch sea salt
- Lemon wedges to serve
- Put the fish skin side down into a large sauté pan with the bay leaf and cover with filtered water.
- Bring up to a simmer and poach gently for about 5 minutes until just cooked.
- Remove the fish and bay leaf with a slotted spoon onto a large plate and set aside somewhere warm.
- Pour the liquor through a sieve into a large jug and keep aside.
- Wipe out the pan.
- Put the cauliflower florets into a food processor fitted with the "S" blade and pulse 4 or 5 short times until the cauli is slightly larger than plump grains of rice.
- Heat the fat in the pan and add the onions. Gently sweat them for 6-8 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon stick and reserved bay leaf and cook another minute or two. Now add the cauliflower and stir to combine with the onions and take on the turmeric color.
- Add ½ cup of the poaching liquor and cook for around 5 minutes until it is just tender with a little bite to it still.
- Remove the skins from the fish and break the flesh into large flakes. Add this to the cauli and quickly warm through. Now throw in the herbs, give a final stir and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.