Arbroath Smokies

BY NICK MACMAHON | 17 JUNE 2019

Here is a recipe for 'Summer Skink'. Our take on the classic Scottish soup 'Cullen Skink', a hearty cream or milk-based soup with smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. Swapping the warm cream for a chilled yoghurt and cucumber soup.

If you want to get your hands on some Smokies in London, Oak & Smoke can help you out. They have a stall in Borough Market and at the Real Food Festival at Kings Cross. Oak & Smoke sell Smokies, as well as other smoked fish from Arbroath, like mackerel, salmon and trout.

Arbroath Smokies, usually referred to as ‘Smokies’, is the name given to smoked haddock produced in the town of Arbroath, a small fishing village on the east coast of Scotland.

 

Smokies have a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. This means they can only be called Arbroath Smokies if the haddock is caught fresh in Scottish waters and smoked within an 8-mile radius of Arbroath.

 

The fish are gutted and cleaned and the heads removed. This leaves two fillets, skin-on, attached by the spine and tail. They are then salted overnight. This process helps to remove excess moisture, concentrate flavours and dry the outside of the fish. Dry skin helps the smoke to properly adhere to the fish. The fish are then smoked in old whiskey barrels with hessian sacks covering the barrels to keep the smoke in. The smoking process imparts a smoky flavour, as well as cooking the fish. The ultimate Smokie experience would be to eat one while in Arbroath, fresh off the smoker. An absolute necessity if you are on a road trip through Scotland.

 

No fine-dining filleting skills are necessary to eat a smokie. Simply, break them open and separate the flesh from the bones and skin. You can eat smokies hot or cold. In a sandwich, soup or salad. Blend them up to make a paté. Also, great for adding to a kedgeree.

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