Simon Rhodes from Lobsterpot Fishmongers, Wood Street Food Hall

SOMETIMES when you are thinking of a midweek meal, you just want something that is uncomplicated, easy to prepare, tasty, and something different to meat.

Smoked haddock poached in milk with mashed potato and peas is the ideal comfort food and always takes me back to my childhood (back then we had the bright yellow dyed smoked haddock).

Of all the smokeries in the UK it was the village of Finnan near Aberdeen which put the illustrious haddock on the culinary map. Their fish was originally smoked over peat and their reputation for quality has stayed with them.

It is understood the dying of smoked haddock started in the Second World War when the discharge of smoke into the air was seen as ‘come and bomb us smoke signals’.

I’m not sure how true this is, as very little fishing took place in that period. However, dyed smoked haddock is a very bright yellow colour, not like the natural product, which is more orange. The dyed haddock was meant to replicate the aged smoking process, although I think the replication is now used more as a retail marketing tool.

E104 (quinoline yellow) is most commonly used to give dyed haddock its scream of colour. A synthetic dye varying in colour between dull yellow and greenish-yellow, it is one of the colours the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group recommends be eliminated from the diet of children.

Smoked Haddock Coconut Curry with Rice

Prepare the rice according to the instructions. Drain, cover to keep warm and set aside.

While the rice is cooking, pour a can of coconut milk into a pan, add haddock fillets and simmer gently for five minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Remove the haddock from the pan with a fish slice and set aside.

Add 2 tbsp of korma curry paste (or hotter paste if you prefer) and several tomato wedges to the coconut milk and simmer for five minutes.

Break the haddock fillets into large flakes and return to the pan. Cook for one minute to warm through and top with a squeeze of lime. Season to taste and serve the curry with the rice, garnished with extra tomato wedges and chopped coriander.