Kedgeree is a common breakfast dish in grand hotels. This buttery version makes a great weekend brunch or weekday supper dish. Smoked haddock, boiled eggs and rice – all cooked on the hob.
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Kedgeree is a recipe I sometimes forget about, then I’m reminded and wonder why I don’t cook it more often. It’s a very versatile dish and is equally good for brunch, lunch or supper and it doesn’t mind hanging about a bit on a hot tray if your family doesn’t all turn up at once.
Brown or White Rice?
I always make Kedgeree with brown rice to get some fibre in there and because I prefer the flavour and texture. If you prefer to use white rice, reduce the cooking time to about 15 minutes for the rice. If this is going to be our evening meal I just cook some frozen peas and/or beans to go along with it. Hopefully, I will have eaten plenty of vegetables at lunchtime.
Smoked Haddock – Dyed or Undyed?
Although I do specify undyed smoked haddock, I haven’t seen any that is dyed recently. In any case, in the UK, the dye mostly comes from turmeric these days – not tartrazine, which can cause severe allergic reactions and is linked to hyperactivity in children – but I prefer not to take the risk.
Lots of Parsley
There’s quite a bit of parsley in this recipe, so it was a great opportunity to try my latest useful gadget. I’ve tried lots of ways to chop herbs and I have a not-so-useful gadget in my cupboard that is called a herb chopper. You put the herbs on the chopping board and press the top of the chopper down. Blades cut the herbs and rotate (I think) so that the parsley (or whatever) gets finely chopped. In theory. What actually happens is that the herbs get chopped a bit but mainly crushed. Not very satisfactory.
So I’ve taken to the very low-tech option of cutting herbs with scissors. And then I found herb cutting scissors with 5 blades. Who would have thought? And they work. You just chop the herbs and the five blades snip the leaves into small pieces. They come with cleaner to poke out the bits that are caught on the blades, and they wash easily. I’m a convert.
Apart from the herbs and chopping an onion, there isn’t much to prepare for Kedgeree, and definitely not much to clear up. It’s a fairly non-messy dish. The fish fillets are cooked whole, then skinned and flaked. You do need to boil the eggs, but you can do that while the fish and rice cook and then chop them up when you’re ready.
- 600 g undyed smoked haddock
- 500 ml water
- 120 g butter
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tablespoon garam masala (15ml)
- 200 g brown rice
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, heaped tbsp (90ml)
- Salt and pepper
Boil the eggs:
- Put the eggs in a small saucepan and three-quarters fill with cold water.You want enough water so that it won't get boiled away
- Bring the water to the boil. Put the lid on the saucepan and turn off the heat and leave on the hotplate for 10 minutes
- Take the eggs out and put in a bowl (or sink) of cold water for 5 minutes to stop them continuing to cookIf you're making boiled eggs to eat cold, leave in the water for at least 10 minutes
For the Kedgeree:
- Place the haddock fillets in a saucepan and cover with 500ml cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 8 minutes
- Meanwhile, finely chop the onion
- When the fish is cooked, drain the cooking water into a measuring jug. Transfer the haddock to a dish or plate, cover with a lid or foil and keep warm
- Using the same saucepan, melt 50g of butter over a medium heat and soften the onion in it for 5 minutes. Add the garam masala and cook for a few seconds. Add the rice and stir well to coat the grains, turning up the heat to high
- Add 500ml of cooking water (top up if necessary) and a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down so that the rice simmers for about 30 minutes until tenderIf you are using white rice, this will take about 15 minutes
- 5 minutes before the end of the rice cooking time, remove the skins from the haddock and flake it. Chop each egg into 8 pieces. Chop the parsley
- With a fork, stir the flaked fish, boiled eggs, half the parsley and the remaining butter into the rice. Check the seasoning and add pepper and more salt if needed. Cover the pan and replace on the low heat for 5 minutes
- Tip the kedgeree gently into a serving dish and garnish with the rest of the parsley
- Kedgeree keeps well on a hot tray, so it's a good meal if people are eating at different times