Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A Fine Kettle Of Fish

Bob declared a few months back “Now we live near the sea, we ought to start eating more fresh fish” and I said “But we have no fish kettle!” I know the correct gear is not essential, but…


The noun 'kettle of fish' is listed by several reference works as dating from 1745, although the earliest actual citation of the term in print is in Thomas Newte's A Tour in England and Scotland in 1785:

"It is customary for the gentlemen who live near the Tweed to entertain their neighbours and friends with a Fete Champetre, which they call giving 'a kettle of fish'. Tents or marquees are pitched near the flowery banks of the river... a fire is kindled, and live salmon thrown into boiling kettles."

So what happens? Bob wanders into a Charity Shop, and finds one, in pristine condition, with its trivet – for a mere £4


“They’re twenty quid or more to buy, we should get it” So we did!


When we got home, we turned it over- this fish kettle has never been used- the label is untouched by heat [or washing up water. What a bargain! Now I am dreaming of poached salmon with hollandaise sauce..

Here is a list of songs to sing whilst cooking fish

  • There’s a plaice for us
  • It’s all about the bass
  • Salmon chanted evening
  • Whale, kipper, whelk, home in the eels

Any other suggestions? or good fish kettle recipes? I am also planning to use it for cooking small steamed puddings…


  1. Anything by Cod Stewart.
    Or you could dance the haddocky-cokey?

  2. That was a bargain! Poached whole salmon...mm, I can taste it now

  3. Well that's a super bargain! I vote for a blog post demonstrating how to use it!

  4. No suggestions for songs but doubtless you will find the piece of cod.

  5. Got my recipe from the chef at Knockagh Lodge. Put salmon in kettle on trivet, just cover with water, add sliced lemon, a few bay leaves and some peppercorns. Put on lid, turn on a medium heat, as soon as it comes to the boil turn off the heat and leave to cool in the water. Then lift out trivet and allow to drain and either serve straight away or put into the fridge. Recently I have cheated a little, I have bought a matching pair of sides of salmon and sandwiched them together and poached as above, means a lot less fiddling to serve.

  6. Enjoyed herring about the fish kettle! A good idea of Bob's to eat more fish - eel soon be an expert! I'd be floundering myself! Anyway, won't keep carping on...[from Jackie via email]


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