When I told Paula at work that I was going to make kedgeree for my dinner this week she said “everyone loves kedgeree!” and I would be inclined to agree. What is not to like about it? Rice, smoked fish, eggs and a little spice go together so fantastically to make a comforting and delicious meal. Best of all this is something that can be eaten at any time of day as well! Well anything can be eaten at any time of day, but some things with less guilt.
In order to make my kedgeree a little more interesting I decided to use leeks in place of onions and to add in some crayfish tails and cockles. My reason for this is that the crayfish would add some nice colour and a lovely sweetness and the cockles would give that salty shellfish edge. Not only this I thought that it would be nice to replace the hard boiled eggs with a poached egg. I have a real love of poached eggs as there are few more satisfying sights in this world than a gooey runny egg yolk. Also topping the plate off with a poached egg would add a real sense of grandeur to what can sometimes be a quite plain-looking dish.
To make the kedgeree I started by poaching off the smoked haddock in some water with bay leaves and peppercorns. I have used dyed haddock as this was all they had, use whichever you want it will all end up yellow come the end. Once poached for about 8-10 minutes remove the fish and retain the poaching liquid. In a large heavy based pan, I used a Le Creuset, sweat off a couple of leeks and red peppers in oil until they are soft then add your spices. I have used turmeric, curry powder, cayenne, coriander and cumin in this version. Fry off the spices a little and then add the rice to the pan and stir to coat with the rice before adding the poaching liquid. It is probably worth measuring out the correct amount of rice for the amount of liquid that you have, but not essential. Turn the heat down and let it simmer until the rice is cooked and then add in the cooked fish. The cockles and crayfish that I used were already cooked so I added these at this stage as well. The heat from the rice will warm the fish through and the flavours will seep through into the rice in a mutually beneficial way.
Before serving season with salt and pepper and squeeze over some lemon juice before stirring through some chopped coriander. Add a good mound of the kedgeree, which should now be a nice mix of yellows, greens and reds to a plate before topping with a poached egg and garnishing with some more coriander and some chopped spring onion. I hope that you will agree that despite its simplicity this is a lovely looking dish and its flavours don’t disappoint. The comforting rice has a slight hint of heat to it and a sweetness from the leaks and peppers. The fish and egg partner the spices wonderfully and this is such a moreish dish it is pretty much impossible to just have the one helping. There are also some of those crispy bits of rice at the bottom of the dish reminiscent of paella that are an added treat.
Hope you like my recipe and let me know how you make your kedgeree.