This delicious, family-friendly twist on a classic is endlessly versatile

Kitchen Cabinet: Just add chilli to give this kedgeree more heat, or fry the eggs if you prefer

I am a huge advocate of cooking with the seasons and buying what is grown and reared around you. One of the few positive things about the pandemic is seeing people using their gardens and window sills to grow some vegetables, fruit and herbs. Growing your own really allows you to appreciate food, nature and time.

When I’m at home I enjoy cooking dishes that are quick and easy to make but also are adaptable to the season and what is available to you. A twist on the classic kedgeree, this dish is a great, very versatile one-pan meal. If you like more heat and spice, add some grated root ginger (about 20g) and one green or red jalapeño chilli (finely chopped) with the garlic, or you can add another teaspoon of curry powder. If you do not like curry flavours, it works well without the curry powder, too, allowing the smoked mackerel, black pepper and lemon juice to shine through.

I love smoked mackerel, and I love cooking with it. I am very picky about the brand I use, as sometimes the smoke and oily flavours can be overpowering

You can substitute the peas and mangetout with other greens, like spinach, pak choi or kale. You can omit the soft-boiled egg or add a fried or poached egg instead. Depending on my mood, I might crack the egg into the rice (at step 4 below, before adding the peas/greens) to make egg-fried rice. The possibilities with this dish are endless.

Smoked mackerel is something people either love or hate and something we rarely play around with at home, apart from the odd salad, sandwich, smoked-fish platter for the table or, maybe, mackerel mousse or pâté. I love smoked mackerel, and I love cooking with it. I am very picky about the brand I use, as sometimes the smoke and oily flavours can be overpowering. For this recipe I use Sally Barnes's smoked mackerel, which you can buy from good independent stores and supermarkets, or online at

You can serve this twist on kedgeree for lunch or dinner, or as a substantial breakfast or brunch. Serve it warm in the middle of the table, to allow everyone to dig in. It is also delicious cold or at room temperature.

Anthony O'Toole is a chef and consultant on food, hospitality, travel, education, communications and design. He is Food Council head for Euro-Toques Ireland


Serves four to six

For the rice
250g basmati rice (If you have leftover boiled rice, you can use that – about 700g)
500ml vegetable stock (I use one organic stock cube to 500ml of water)

To assemble
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or organic rapeseed oil
1 medium white onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
200g fresh or frozen peas
100g mangetout, roughly sliced lengthways (optional)
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Handful of fresh chives, finely chopped
300g good-quality smoked mackerel, roughly flaked off the skin and with any big bones removed
1 lemon, juice only
1 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked
1 tsp sea salt (I like using Achill Island sea salt)
3 warm soft-boiled eggs, peeled and halved (optional)

Wash the rice thoroughly in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear.

2 Place in a lidded saucepan and cover with the vegetable stock.

3 Bring to the boil uncovered. Once the water is boiling, reduce to a very low heat, cover with the lid and cook for 15 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the water. You'll know all the water has been absorbed when you see small bubble holes on top of the rice.

4 Turn off and leave aside with the lid on.

5 Heat a large shallow pan or casserole dish on a medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add the oil and chopped onion and stir well. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until the onions turn soft and are just starting to brown.

6 Add the chopped garlic, curry powder and turmeric and stir gently for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

7 Stir in the rice until you have evenly coated it with the curried onions and the rice has started to heat up.

8 Gently stir in the peas and chopped mangetout and cook for a further 2 minutes, until you see steam rising from the rice.

9 Remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped spring onions, flat-leaf parsley and chives.

10 Gently stir the flaked mackerel into the rice. You add big chunks of mackerel because it will break up as you stir, but you don't want the fish to break up too much.

11 Taste and season with lemon juice, cracked black pepper and sea salt.

12 Serve in the middle of the table with the soft-boiled eggs on top.

Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland, who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome