Cullen Skink is a traditional Scottish soup renowned for its rich and hearty flavors. Hailing from Moray’s very own Cullen, this dish has become a beloved part of Scottish cuisine.

Cullen Skink is primarily made with smoked haddock, potatoes, onions, and cream, resulting in a velvety and indulgent soup that warms the soul.

Cullen Skink is not only a beloved Scottish delicacy but also a testament to the country’s coastal heritage. It has gained popularity beyond its place of origin and is now enjoyed by people worldwide who appreciate its rustic charm and delectable combination of flavors.

Cullen Skink History

Cullen Skink is an old dish made with the gubbins of beef from the front legs of cattle, these offcuts are combined to create Scotland’s famous broth. The word Skink is said to come the Gaelic word meaning “Essence”, this is embodied in the dish that we see today.

In the early 1890s many people in the north had come across challenging times, were no longer able to afford the luxury of beef and had to turn to the more cost-effective ingredient of fish. Cullen Harbour had become a thriving hub of herring and fishing and the village also specialised in the production of smoked haddock. Due to Cullen’s fishing heritage and with many families embedded in the Sea town community seafood dishes were an essential part of life. Through years of refinement smoked haddock and various other products were all combined to create a distinctive, and now historic, dish known as Cullen Skink.

World Championships

The competition pits the best Cullen Skink makers against each other with judging undertaken as a blind tasting with the highest score being declared the Cullen Skink World Champion.  The competition is a wonderful way to celebrate the heritage of Cullen Skink and for the winner to be crowned the Cullen Skink World Champion.  We hold two competitions on the day – Traditional Cullen Skink and Cullen Skink with a Twist. You can enter either or both competitions. The event had been cancelled the last 3 years due to Corona Virus but now the World Championship returns on Sunday the 26th of March at the Seafield Arms Hotel.

All Pictures Courtesy of Discover Cullen

Recipe For Cullen Skink

Do you want to try and make this dish for you and your family? Below you’ll find the traditional Cullen Skink ingredients to try for yourself… but don’t be afraid to add your own twist to the recipe.

4 fillets of smoked haddock (cut into small pieces)

1 small onion (diced)

3 pints of milk

5 tablespoons of single cream

1 oz margarine

2 teaspoons cornflour (mixed with a tablespoon of milk)

5 medium potatoes (part boiled and diced)

Parsley (finely diced)

Additionally, this is the Cooking Method

Melt the margarine in a large saucepan, add the onion and smoked haddock and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the part boiled potatoes and milk and bring to the boil. Add the cornflour mixed with a tablespoon of milk. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the cream prior to serving.

Where to Eat

Check out our full list of places to eat in Moray Speyside here.

Article written in partnership with Andrew Quirie.