Smoked haddock pilaff

Fluffy grains of aromatic rice and flakes of smoky, savoury haddock are the stars in this recipe by Real Food chef Jonny Thompson
Smoked haddock pilaff
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 500 g haddock fillets
  • 600 ml water
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 225 g basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 50 g sultanas
  • 50 g toasted cashew nuts
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

Tips and Suggestions

You can omit the cashews and sultanas if you prefer.
Instead of smoked haddock, any other smoked white fish will do.


1. Place the haddock fillets in a large wide pan with the water, lemon juice, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.

2. Remove the fish from the pan and remove the skin. Flake the flesh into a bowl, taking care to remove any bones.

3. Strain the fish cooking liquid into a large saucepan, discarding the solids, then place back over a low heat.

4. Place the rice into a sieve and rinse well under running water.

5. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the drained rice, cumin and cinnamon stick and lightly fry for 2-3 minutes. Pour over the strained fish cooking liquid and stir well.

6. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the sultanas and cashew nuts. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in the chopped parsley.

7. Carefully fold in the flaked fish and heat gently for a few minutes on the stove, stirring occasionally.

8. Spoon the pilaff into bowls and garnish with the quartered hard-boiled eggs.

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