Wild Trout & Duck Egg Kedgeree
Cooking Wild by Kieran Creevy | Photography by Claire Burge
We wake slowly in our cocoons of silk, down and nylon. There’s delicious sense of lethargy there, so we’re slow to get moving. Outside, the dawn chorus has finished and the landscape is alive. Here amid rolling grasslands and forests of the Scottish lowland, we can even smell subtle changes in the weather as skirls of wind blow past our camp. We decide to get up and get breakfast on.
Grumbling slightly I wriggle out from the tent, trying not to dislodge the small puddles of last night’s rain on the fly. Descending to the stream I slide up a sleeve and fish for our dry-bag wedged between boulders, and fill the kettle for a brew. Inside, chilled overnight in this makeshift fridge, are some wild trout fillets. Though the hues of purple and green on the skin are a little faded now, the flesh still holds its rich pink colour, far removed from the paler shades of farmed trout. Rice leftover from last night’s dinner sits wrapped up in a fleece jacket cosy, and nestling in the pot are a couple of duck eggs. Coming across the farm yesterday added this surprise final element to our breakfast: rice and spices from India’s markets, mingled with the colonial addition of fish and eggs, transformed the local dish of kichirī into what we now know to be kedgeree.
Though some Kedgeree recipes include curry powder, no self-respecting Indian cook would ever resort to the vaguely brown powder that probably sits in a jar at the back of your cupboard. Use the mix below, or add to it as you will; the flavour will be far better than any pre-made mix. Dried whole spices weigh little, changing the quantities below can greatly alter the flavour of the recipe below so we encourage you to experiment!
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 cups long grain rice or a mix of long grained and wild rice, cooked the night before
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black onion seeds
1 tsp rock salt or sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 dried lime
2 organic duck or chicken eggs
2 fillets wild trout
chervil and coriander leaves
1 tbsp ghee
Heat the ghee in a frying pan and, once hot, mix in the spices and salt. Add the trout fillets to the pan, skin side down until crisp and then flip and cook for 1-2 minutes
more. Remove and leave to rest.
Add the pre-cooked rice to the pan, heat thoroughly and set aside. In a saucepan/pot, bring 300ml of water to the boil and add the dried lime. Break the eggs gently into the water and cook until the white has just set.
Return the pan of rice to the heat, flake the trout fillets into the rice, tear the chervil and coriander leaves and mix. Spoon into bowls or eat from the pan.
Drain the poached eggs and carefully place onto the rice. Break each egg, allowing the lovely oozy bright yellow yolk to run into the kedgeree.
One Pot Version
Hard-boil the eggs in advance. When the trout is almost cooked, flake, add the rice and
heat. Shell, chop and add the eggs to the rice with the fresh herbs and serve.
This recipe first appeared in Sidetracked Volume Three.
In addition to fifteen years work as an international mountain leader and trekking guide on five continents, Kieran has nearly two decades experience of catering for some of the most demanding customers – fellow instructors who want nutritious food with a bit flair, lots of it, now and don’t care that it’s minus 10c and snowing!Twitter: @kierancreevy
Claire has been described as part chaos, part rocket fuel. When she is isn’t racing down mountains on her bicycle, you will find her behind a lens and licking the wooden spoon.Twitter: @claireburge