Cockle and clam kedgeree

Cockle and clam kedgeree

British Seafood
David Loftus

The first time I tasted kedgeree was at Billingsgate fish market in London. Peter Kromberg, the head chef where I was working, regularly took the young chefs to the market and we ended our visit with a breakfast of kedgeree. I’ve loved it ever since. My version has some smoked fish, like the traditional one, but I like to include cockles and clams as well.


Quantity Ingredient
200g smoked haddock fillet
200g live cockles, cleaned, (see note)
200g live clams, cleaned, (see note)
700ml Roast fish stock
light rapeseed oil, for cooking
50g unsalted butter
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 leek, washed and finely sliced, (white part only)
1 celery stick, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
300g long-grain or basmati rice, washed and drained
pinch saffron strands
1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
3 medium eggs
2 teaspoons coriander leaves, chopped, plus a few leaves to finish
lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the skin from the smoked haddock and cut the fillet into 2 cm dice; set aside.
  2. Place a large saucepan (that has a tight-fitting lid) over a high heat. When the pan is really hot, add the cockles and clams with 100 ml of the fish stock and put the lid on. Steam for 2 minutes until the shells open. Tip the contents of the pan into a colander over a bowl to catch the liquor.
  3. When the shellfish are cool enough to handle, pick out the meat from the shells, leaving some in their shells for serving. Place in a bowl and keep cool until ready to serve. Strain the liquor though a fine sieve or muslin to remove any grit or sand; reserve.
  4. To cook the rice, place an ovenproof pan (that has a lid) over a medium heat. When it is hot, add a drizzle of oil and the butter. When the butter is bubbling, add the shallots, leek, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, to soften without colouring. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the saffron, curry powder, remaining fish stock and the reserved shellfish juice. Bring to a simmer and cover with a lid. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes until tender.
  5. Meanwhile, add the eggs to a pan of simmering water, return to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes. Drain and briefly run under cold water, then peel. Quarter the eggs lengthways.
  6. When the rice is ready, remove the pan from the oven and add the smoked haddock, clams, cockles, chopped coriander and egg quarters. Gently fold the ingredients through the rice and season with salt and pepper to taste. The heat of the rice will gently cook the smoked haddock pieces. Scatter over a few coriander leaves.
  7. Serve the kedgeree straight from the pan into warmed bowls, with lemon wedges, and bread and butter on the side if you like.

Clams and cockles

  • When you get your cockles home, it’s best to purge them in a mixture of salt and water overnight to get rid of all the sand and mud before cooking them. Make sure you throw away any that are open as they will be dead. Mature cockles for eating are generally 2–3 years old; occasionally they live to 5 years but these are a little tough to eat.


  • Before cooking, check the mussels are in good condition and closed. Tap any open mussels sharply – they will close up if they’re alive, otherwise discard them. Similarly throw away any mussels that have cracked or damaged shells. Pull away the hairy ‘beard’, attached to one end of the mussel. Farmed mussels should only need a quick rinse to clean them without washing away flavour, but if mussels are sandy or dirty you’ll need to give them a more thorough wash or a quick soak in cold water.
British Seafood
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