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Skate in Sushi or Other Restaurants?

opinionatedchef Nov 12, 2011 12:35 AM

I have never seen skate on any sushi menu in North America but I love skate. Wikipedia says it is eaten in South Korea and Japan. I will be visiting Japan soon; will I likely find skate being served in Japan? as sushi or cooked?thanks much.


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  1. Robb S RE: opinionatedchef Nov 12, 2011 01:35 AM

    I've only seen it cooked. It's a fairly common dish in izakaya. In Japanese it's called 'えい' or 'ei.'

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robb S
      opinionatedchef RE: Robb S Nov 12, 2011 10:25 AM

      robb, this is really helpful. is it grilled, on the bone? any sauce usually?

      1. re: opinionatedchef
        Robb S RE: opinionatedchef Nov 12, 2011 04:56 PM

        What kersizm says - 90% of the time I've seen it, it's dried ray fins that are grilled and served with mayonnaise and lemon. Apparently ray is also served as nimono (stewed), but I can't say I've eaten it that way....

    2. kersizm RE: opinionatedchef Nov 12, 2011 02:58 AM

      Dried skate wings with a dab of mayonnaise are a tasty beer snack!

      3 Replies
      1. re: kersizm
        opinionatedchef RE: kersizm Nov 13, 2011 11:35 AM

        don't mean to be a pest but i'm a little confused. i'm familiar w/ ika that is dried/salt cured and served as chewy snack in a package. You mention the skate wings being dried. Like the tough/chewy ika i describe, and salt cod? or dried and then soaked/reconstituted and grilled and served?

        are they cut in strips parallelling the lines of the 'wing fibers' ?

        1. re: opinionatedchef
          Robb S RE: opinionatedchef Nov 13, 2011 08:25 PM

          If the fins are dried then they're just dried overnight; I think sometimes they're just grilled without being dried. Anyway they're not tough like what you're describing, though they can be a bit chewy in a pleasant way.

          1. re: Robb S
            opinionatedchef RE: Robb S Nov 13, 2011 09:46 PM

            that's ironic because what i love about skate is the silky soft texture, unlike any other fish i have had. i put it in soups and i saute it w/ sauces.

      2. h
        Hiyodori RE: opinionatedchef Nov 13, 2011 07:50 PM

        I've had it before in nimono (stewed) dishes, like Robb S. mentions, as well as at a French restaurant named キャノン (Canon?) years ago out in Ushiku, Ibaragi Prefecture, about 50 minutes or so from Ueno in Tokyo, that appears to be temporarily closed right now, so it can be found. It was somewhat similar to the photo on the link below (just some random person's blog), though with a clearer, vegetable and tomato broth at the bottom of the dish.

        Look here to see how dried skate may be cut:

        1. Notorious P.I.G. RE: opinionatedchef Nov 13, 2011 10:44 PM

          I've had the wings at Yuian in Shinjuku. It was dried and served as a snack to go along with Sake.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
            Ninisix RE: Notorious P.I.G. Nov 14, 2011 07:26 PM

            The other name for it is 'kasube', I did have it as stewed, on a 'daily special'. In France, or perhaps in the US, this is some dish considered as an outstanding item on a menu, and a sufficient reason to gather friends for... Here, as the consistency of the fish is a bit gelatinous, with hard bone, and not consistently available on Tsukiji market, it will be difficult to find an izakaya that will have it for even a week in a row on its menu (japanese 'difficult', read impossible!!). Rather, look under "today's special fish", you may be lucky. 
            If you are coming to Japan this season, why not try to learn how to cook oily, tasty, but with no after-taste Shime-Saba(=macquerel) or Sanma(=Pacific Saury). If you are interested, there is a hidden sushi edge to edge under the Yamanote Railway in the Yurakucho area with 2 different sorts of shime-saba, sanma,... for under 4000.-yens, but it is a hole-in-the-wall and no English is spoken (=sushi Daizen http://s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130... ). Glupps !!!
            Most common use of skate actually is mixed with other fishes, such as the meat of shark, then it will be a fully tasty ingredient...
            And don't go to Yuian in Shinjuku, not terrific.

            1. re: Ninisix
              opinionatedchef RE: Ninisix Nov 14, 2011 10:07 PM

              ninisix, it's not gelatinous; it is silky!! and the bone is not bone but cartilage, which is rather flexible. I am surprised about responses in this thread, because i pretty much figured that if it lives in the ocean, the japanese will eat it! Maybe it is more common on the Korean side of Japan...?

              1. re: opinionatedchef
                kersizm RE: opinionatedchef Nov 15, 2011 03:50 AM

                Well we have given you examples of how Skate used in Japanese cooking, that doesn't mean it is a suitable sushi neta. I'm not as experienced in Japanese food as others, but I have never seen a shark or a ray served as sushi. I assume that's simply because it doesn't taste any good served that way!

                1. re: opinionatedchef
                  Silverjay RE: opinionatedchef Nov 15, 2011 05:08 AM

                  I've only seen it at izakaya as the others have described. It's usually called "ei no hire" which means "skate fin". You can buy packets of it at the store as well. It's served at izakaya in the U.S. as well.

                  Neither skate nor shark are eaten raw or prepared for sushi. I threw "ei" into Cookpad, the Japanese recipe website and some listings came up for simmered and braised preparations. I've never seen these at restaurants though.

                  1. re: Silverjay
                    opinionatedchef RE: Silverjay Nov 15, 2011 10:42 AM

                    i find this so interesting! i've also been told that monkfish is not popular in japan, whereas the koreans eat it alot. i do understand that many seafood are not considered good for sushi, but are fine cooked; it's just interesting that there are some species that are just not popular in any form! i guess i can understand this better in a country like the u.s. which does not have such a seafood culture, but in a country where seafood is absolute king, i guess it surprises me!!

                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                      Silverjay RE: opinionatedchef Nov 15, 2011 11:13 AM

                      Monkfish is reasonably popular in Japan. It's called ankou and hacked up and served in hot pot. You can buy little sets with the fish and vegetables and broth packets at the supermarket. The liver is somewhat of a delicacy and served at sushi restaurants...And as we said, skate is ubiquitous. It's just prepared differently in Japanese culinary culture. Semi-frozen tuna sashimi seems to be a popular item served in Korea and this would not fly in Japan. So it's just different takes on somethings. But skate and sharks have very little fat and they basically piss through their skin. So they have to be handled in such a way that the meat doesn't smell like ammonia.

                      Japan is a volcanic archipelago at the convergence of several major oceanic currents. What can be found around there is what is popular. There are all sorts of fish and shellfish I've had in Japan that I'm pretty sure aren't available anywhere else.

                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                        wekabeka RE: opinionatedchef Nov 15, 2011 02:34 PM

                        I'm not sure who told you that monkfish is not popular in Japan, but they obviously haven't been here in winter (monkfish season) when it's a popular nabe dish. A certain captain of industry I know eagerly awaits the annual call from his local kappo-ryori shop to tell him when they are 'hanging' their first fish.
                        According to their website, Isegen is the only monkfish specialist restaurant in Tokyo, and their winter menu lists monkfish sashimi on its course menu.


                        Ankimo ponzu is also a standard izakaya drinking snack, though it is often processed so it can be eaten out of season. If you want to try the 'fois gras of the sea', then it's best to go to a shop that serves it in season - Akaoni does a very good version.

                        Eihire is available all year round as an izakaya/bar snack, and you can pick up packets of it at your local convenience store or train kiosk for a few hundred yen. As with others, I have only ever eaten skate as a nimono dish at seafood izakaya, although I once saw it sold as a ¥100 special at my local chain obento store, Origin.

                        1. re: wekabeka
                          opinionatedchef RE: wekabeka Nov 15, 2011 02:49 PM

                          wek, interesting that you should bring up ankimo. I love sliced ankimo w/ ponzu; what a unique thing. But our large Boston distributor , True World Foods, has recently stopped selling raw ankimo (previously purchased by my local sushi chef who then steamed/prepared it himself.) True World seems to have a new thing where they are only selling it pre-processed and frozen. parasite related.As we speak, i am in the process of finding out more about this policy change of theirs. It's a real bummer because what they are selling now is very inferior because it crumbles, and flavor is also not as good, as you might guess.

                          btw,jay, my contact didn't say it wasn't eaten in Japan; he just said monkfish is much more eaten in Korea.

                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                            wekabeka RE: opinionatedchef Nov 15, 2011 06:35 PM

                            Ankimo is indeed a wondrous thing. Good luck in your efforts to procure the real thing.
                            BTW, I lived in South Korea for 2 years and, in my experience, I wouldn't say monkfish was more widely eaten than here.

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