Camp Breakfast in Scotland: Kedgeree and Cranachan Recipes

The green walls of our tunnel tent glow, light shimmering and flowing in waves, the dawn chorus ebbing, reminding us that time is a-wasting. Waking slowly in cocoons of silk, down and nylon there’s a delicious sense of lethargy. We’re slow to get moving. 

Here, beneath stark basalt mountains on the Isle of Skye, the scent of sun-warmed earth and heather flows into the tent. Still in our bags, there’s good-natured banter about who must leave the comfort of a warm bag to light our stove and get breakfast going.  

Backpackers enjoying breakfast at sunrise
Photo by Lisa Paarvio

Grumbling slightly, one of the team wriggles out of the tent, the fly taut with the heat from a cloudless sky; a rare and unexpected joy here in the far northwest of Scotland, where one day of sunshine is a thing to be celebrated. 

The contrast in this landscape pulls us into its embrace. Packs lie in the lee of the tent, the pink loops of our climbing rope wedged underneath a lid, ready for today’s scramble along beautiful ridges, the beams of sunlight shading the rock formations, calling to mind a Jacobs Ladder of sorts, ascending to the heavens. 

Descending to the stream, Vreni slides up a sleeve and fishes for the dry bag wedged between boulders and fills the kettle for a brew.  Inside, chilled in this makeshift fridge overnight, are wild salmon fillets and hard-boiled eggs, cooked the night before. Though the hue on the salmon skin is slightly muted, the flesh holds fast a dark pink, far removed from the pale colors of their farmed brethren.  

Sheep grazing
Photo by Lisa Paarvio

Coming across the farm yesterday added the final element of free-range eggs to this morning’s breakfast. Handing over cash, crumpled in a ball to the farmer who raised the animals, gives a far greater sense of human interaction than any chip-and-pin transaction in a supermarket. These types of exchanges are still an everyday occurrence in the area from which we get the other elements of our meal. Rice and spices from Indian markets mingled with the colonial addition of fish and eggs, transforming the local dish of kichirī into today’s Kedgeree.  

Camp Breakfast Recipes

Fish and rice Kedgeree breakfast bowl
Photo by Lisa Paarvio


Though some Kedgeree recipes include curry powder, no self-respecting Indian cook would ever resort to the vaguely brown powder sitting in a jar at the back of the cupboard. Use the mix below, or add to it as you will. The flavour will be far better than any pre-made mix. Dried whole spices weigh little; changing the quantities below can greatly alter the flavour of the recipe below so we encourage you to experiment. 

Kedgeree ingredients
Photo by Lisa Paarvio


  • 2 cups long-grain rice or a mix of long-grain and wild rice 
  • 500ml/17 oz. water 
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala powder, or use the mix below: 
    • 1 tsp turmeric 
    • 1 tbsp. curry leaves 
    • 1 tsp mustard seeds 
    • 1 tsp black onion seeds 
  • 1 tsp rock salt or sea salt 
  • 1 tsp pepper 
  • 2 organic duck or chicken eggs, hard boiled the night before and kept fresh in the dry bag fridge. 
  • 2 fillets wild salmon or trout
  • Chervil and coriander leaves 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, butter, or ghee 
rice cooking in backpacking pot
Photo by Lisa Paarvio


  1. Heat the ghee in a pan. When hot, add the spices and salt. 
  2. Cook the fish fillets, skin side down first until crisp then flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more; remove and leave to rest. 
  3. Rinse the rice in clean water, drain the excess starch and add clean water to the top of the rice, then one knuckle deep extra. 
  4. Cover and bring to a boil and simmer until fluffy. Season as desired. 
  5. Peel and chop the eggs. 
  6. Flake the trout fillets into the rice. Add the eggs, torn chervil and coriander leaves and mix well. 

Cranachan, deconstructed. 

Cranachan Breakfast Ingredients
Photo by Lisa Paarvio


  • 150g/about 5 oz. oats 
  • 400ml/13.5 oz. water 
  • 2 tbsp. wild heather honey 
  • 3 tbsp. butter 
  • 4 tbsp. raspberries  
  • 4 tbsp. strained yogurt. 
Pouring oats into pot
Photo by Lisa Paarvio


  1. Bring water to the boil, add the oats and cook (cook time will depend on the type of oats used). You should have a thick mixture. Add 2 tbsp. butter to the mix, and stir in. 
  2. In a pan, heat up the other tbsp. butter. Spoon some oatmeal into the pan and flatten down to thick disks. 
  3. Fry on one side, flip and fry again. 
  4. Spoon into bowls and top with yogurt, raspberries and honey. 
  5. You can also make this dish with cream instead of yogurt and add a bit of good Scottish Whiskey if you feel like it.  
Yogurt oatmeal Cranachan breakfast bowl
Photo by Lisa Paarvio

Kieran CreevyAbout the Author

MSR Chef Ambassador, Kieran Creevy

With over 20 years of globetrotting experience as an expedition and private chef, along with being an International Mountain Leader, Kieran’s culinary journey has taken him to the farthest corners of the world.

From snowy peaks to scorching deserts, he has mastered the art of cooking in every climate and terrain imaginable. His passion for both adventure and gourmet delights collided during a mesmerizing ski touring expedition in the Finnish Arctic. Picture this: savoring spiced fish soup, root vegetable salad, and a tantalizing Thai-style risotto in the heart of the wilderness! It was then that Kieran’s mission was born—to teach fellow outdoor enthusiasts and instructors the art of cooking divine food in the mountains.

As an official MSR Chef Ambassador since 2018, Kieran has traveled the world igniting tastebuds. From captivating cooking and product demonstrations at national retailer events to European Trade Shows, Kieran’s presence is a recipe for inspiration and adventure. To learn more about him and his culinary adventures, visit

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