Cullen Skink & Hake by Tom Kitchin

By Administrator

Cullen skink is a really simple dish to cook and can be made in a variety of different ways. I adore adding hake as main ingredient. Cullen skink can either be done very badly or exceptionally well. I think you either find awful smoked fish or absolutely wonderful smoked fish, and it’s obviously better to shop around for the latter.


·         Prep the pumpkin into chunky wedges.  You can also retain and dry, then  roast the pumpkin seeds

·         Roast the pumpkin wedges in the oven until golden and well caramelised.  Retain some nice pieces to garnish, purée the remaining roasted pumpkin in a blender until smooth. Reserve until later

·         Put vegetable stock in a pan to heat

·         Sweat the diced shallot in a little olive oil until completely soft. Then add the pearl barley and 50g of butter and lightly ‘roast’ the grains in the butter,  without adding any colour

·         When the grains appear translucent on the outside begin adding the heated stock, one ladle at a time, whilst stirring very gently but continuously to avoid the grains sticking to the pan

·         Continue ladling stock and cooking until the grains are almost cooked through. Then stir in a 50g of butter and some of the pumpkin purée to create a nice orange colour.


·         When at the right consistency, remove from the heat and serve with roasted pumpkin seeds, the retained pumpkin pieces, chopped chives, crispy watercress leaves , a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan shavings. 

Photography by Marc Millar

    • 250g Pearl barley
    • 1ltr vegetable stock
    • 4 shallots (diced finely)
    • 1 medium pumpkin
    • 100g of butter
    • 1 tablespoon of chives (chopped finely)
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • Watercress leaves (deep-fried until crispy)
    • Parmesan shavings for serving