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Cullen Skink Recipe

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: January 23, 2024

A traditional Scottish soup, Cullen skink is a winter favourite not only in Scotland but also throughout the UK and other parts of the world. Made using onions, potatoes and haddock, this soup is perfect for a dinnertime meal with your loved ones.

Take a look at how you can make this dish on your own.

Cullen Skink Recipe

how to make cullen skink
Cullen Skink Recipe
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5 from 1 vote
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 30 minutes
CUISINE Scottish
CALORIES 1211 kcal



  • 1 pound Smoked haddock
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 2 cups or 250 ml Milk
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup Parsley, chopped


  • If your smoked haddock is still whole, cut it into fillets.
  • Take a large pot or saucepan and add some butter to it.
  • Add the onions and let them become translucent. This might take 5-10 minutes to carry out.
  • In another saucepan, add the milk, bay leaves, smoked haddock, salt, pepper and parsley.
  • Let the milk come to a bowl and then let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to rest for a few minutes. This will help the flavours deepen more thoroughly.
  • Take a spatula, remove the haddock and place it on a plate to cool down.
  • You should now add your infused milk through a strainer or colander into the pot with the onions.
  • Add the potatoes at this stage as well and allow them to tenderise and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Take the haddock and break it into flakes. Add these to the pot but make sure there are no bones.
  • Let the soup simmer for a final few minutes with a bit more parsley added at this point.
Chefs Tips
  • I always like adding a bit of an appetizer or side to eat alongside Cullen skink. The simplest solution here is to toast some bread or a sliced baguette and eat it with your soup. You can also spread some garlic butter over it.
  • Finnan haddock or cold-smoked haddock is what is traditionally used in this dish, but this can be a bit hard to access and expensive to buy. Any other haddock or even another kind of fish will do in this case.
  • If there are leftovers, cover the bowl or transfer the soup to an airtight container and cover it. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Nutritional Information
Calories: 1211kcalCarbohydrates: 87gProtein: 126gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 23gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 440mgSodium: 3512mgPotassium: 4014mgFiber: 12gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 3963IUVitamin C: 132mgCalcium: 352mgIron: 12mg
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What Does Cullen Skink Taste Like?

Cullen skink has a rich and smoky taste that it obtains from the smoked haddock. It is also quite creamy.

Where Does Cullen Skink Get Its Name From?

Cullen is a town in Scotland where this dish was first made while skink refers to shin or knuckle or the soup made from these parts. This is how Cullen skink gets its name

Concluding Thoughts

Trust me, the Cullen skink tastes lovely and has a unique smokiness to it. This dish from Scotland can make your winter day better and might just end up becoming a new favourite for you and your family. You can also try smoking the fish on your own if you are up for the challenge!

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Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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