Soft-boiled bantam egg, creamed leeks and Arbroath smokies

Mark Hix uses Arbroath smokies to create a delicious and simple dish that puts other types of smoked haddock to shame.

Arbroath smokies are making a bit of a comeback and maybe in the past the bones and skin may have been a bit off putting but in this recipe the hard work is done before it goes on the plate. Bantam eggs are about two thirds of the size of a hens egg so make a less filling starter or brunch dish.

Serves 4


  • 1-2 Arbroath smokies, skinned and boned, or about 300-350g smoked haddock fillet, skinned
  • Milk for poaching (if using the smoked haddock)
  • A couple of good knobs of butter
  • 1 leek, halved, finely shredded and washed
  • 250–300ml double cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bantam eggs
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley 


  1. Check the fish carefully for any pin-bones, removing any you find with tweezers. If using smoked haddock, poach it in gently simmering milk or water to cover for 3-4 minutes, then drain and break up the flesh into fairly large pieces. 
  2. Heat the butter in a pan and gently cook the leek for 3-4 minutes until soft, then add the cream and fish. 
  3. Season lightly and simmer until the cream has reduced down a little and is just coating the fish. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. 
  4. Meanwhile, soft-boil the bantam eggs by carefully lowering them into a pan of simmering water and cooking gently for3 ½ – 4 minutes. Briefly refresh in cold water until the eggs are cool enough to handle, then remove and carefully peel. 

Divide the creamed fish and leek among warmed-up plates and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and place the egg on top. Grind over a little pepper and serve at once. 

Last modified: June 13, 2023

Written by 2:18 pm Recipes