• For the fish:
  • 500ml milk
  • 200g firm white fish, skin removed
  • 200g smoked fish, skin removed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • For the filling:
  • 45g butter
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, trimmed, halved and sliced
  • 1 large stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 40g long grain rice
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 450ml reserved poaching milk
  • 50ml cream
  • 50g frozen peas
  • 20g parsley, stalks too, finely chopped
  • 20g coriander, stalks too, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 2 boiled eggs, roughly chopped
  • For the topping:
  • 200g waxy potatoes, eg. Charlotte, mandolined
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 40g long grain rice, par boiled and tossed in butter
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.
  2. Poach the fish: Put the milk, fish and bay leaves into a large saucepan over a low heat. Let it simmer gently for 5 minutes then switch off the heat and leave to cool slightly before draining and reserving the poaching milk for later.
  3. Make the filling: Heat the butter in a large frying pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop, tip in the onion, leek and celery. Cook gently for 5-10 minutes, until starting to soften, then add in the garlic, chilli and rice. Stir well and cook for another 2 minutes, then add in the curry powder, cardamom and turmeric. Cook the spices for a few minutes, then add the flour and stir until it’s all combined. Gradually add in the milk, stirring often, until you have a thick sauce. Add in the cream then switch off the heat. Let it cool for a few minutes then add in the frozen peas, chopped herbs and lemon zest, before adding the chopped boiled eggs and flaking in the fish. Stir gently then tip into the oven dish and put to one side.
  4. Make the topping: Peel the potatoes and slice them on a mandolin, or as thinly as you can with a sharp knife. Put them into a mixing bowl and tip over the olive oil. Toss the potato slices so they are all well covered in oil.
  5. Spoon the cooked and buttered rice onto the oven dish, leaving a circle in the middle where the potato pattern will go. Arrange the potato slices in a scallop pattern in the middle - leaving rice exposed at either end for the head and tail. Use the last pieces of potato to fashion a scalloped potato tail then, lastly, add one pea for an eye. Sprinkle sea salt flakes and ground black pepper on top then cook for 35-40 minutes until piping hot inside and brown on top.