How to Make Cullen Skink Video
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Video:How to Make Cullen Skink

with Elaine Lemm

Cullen Skink is a hearty fish soup from the city of Cullen in North East Scotland. Watch this how-to video from to see instructions for making it on your own.See Transcript

Transcript:How to Make Cullen Skink

Hi I'm Elaine Lemm for the British and Irish Food site and today I'm going to show you how to make a Scottish dish, which comes from Cullen, in the North of Scotland. Cullen lends its name to one of Scotland's most famous dishes, Cullen Skink. Cullen Skink is a really hearty soup, made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions.

Ingredients for Making Cullen Skink

  • 1 ¼ pints/700 ml milk
  • ½ cup/ small handful flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1lb /450g undyed, smoked haddock fillet
  • ½ stick/55g butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8oz/ 250g mashed potato, leftover or cooked fresh
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions for Making Cullen Skink

For the first part of our Cullen Skink I've warmed the milk in a saucepan with the stalks from the parsley and the bay leaf. Then into there I'm going to add this lovely fish. The smoked haddock needs to cook now in the milk for 3 – 4 minutes.

Once this fish is poached then I'm going to take it off the heat and just leave it to stand for about 5 minutes to let all those lovely flavours infuse into the milk. After the 5 minutes, then we need to take the fish out of the milk, pop it into a bowl, and then we need to put the milk to one side cause we're going to use that for our sauce.

Combining the Ingredients for Cullen Skink

Into a nice roomy pan, I'm going to add the butter and just let that melt. Once the butter's melted, in go the onions, and we're just going to cook them gently, probably going to take 4 – 5 minutes. Once the onions are softened, then we need to strain the milk into this pan, and into there I'm going to add the mashed potato. I'm going to give that a good stir so the mashed potato breaks down into the milk to create a nice sauce. Once the mashed potato's incorporated then I'm going to add the fish back in by flaking these lovely big pieces of haddock. While you're doing this just check to make sure there are no bones in the fish.

Finally into there I'm going to add some chopped parsley, and a little bit of salt and pepper, and a gentle stir. Now this is probably going to need just another 3 or 4 minutes to finish cooking and then we're ready to serve.

So there you are, a really lovely Cullen Skink soup. Not only does it look very pretty, I can assure you it tastes very good too. To learn more, join us on the web at

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