Cullen Skink - Scottish Fish Chowder

I went for supper with a couple of my sisters and my mom last week and my one sister ordered clam chowder. We were talking recipes and I mentioned cullen skink. Blank looks all around until I explained that cullen skink was the chowder of Scotland. Cullen skink is a soup that originates in Northern Scotland, in the town of Cullen. Even though it only has a handful of simple ingredients, it makes for a comforting and tasty chowder.

In the picture below, its served with tattie cakes (or potato cakes). If you have a British grocer near you, they may have packs in the freezer section. I just fry and crisp them up in a bit of bacon fat before serving.

Cullen Skink - Scottish Fish Chowder

Cullen Skink


  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 1/4 c flour or as much needed to make a roux
  • 2 c fish stock
  • 2 c cream
  • 1 pkg baby potatoes halved and cooked until just tender
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs smoked finnan haddie or cod cubed or shredded
  • 2 tbs tarragon dijon mustard
  • 3 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • S&P to taste note that less salt will be needed since smoked fish is already salty


  • Melt butter in large pot then saute onions until clear and soft.
  • Add flour to make roux.
  • Add fish stock, cream, baby potatoes, stir and then add mustard.
  • Let simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add fish and simmer again.
  • Add S&P near end to let the fish impart its flavour first.
  • Add parlsey, stir, and serve.
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