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Nov 15, 2012 08:35 AM

Skate / Ray Recipes? Thornback Ray Wing

My weekly fish experimentation / education continues and this week it looks like I am cooking fresh Thornback Ray Wing for 2.

I have no idea what / how this is traditionally prepared. Anyone have experience with this seafood?

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  1. A simple dusting in seasoned flour and pan fried works for me....served with any condiment or sauce you like.

    As a general rule, I like any steamed or pan fried fish served Chinese Style.... soy sauce with julienne scallions and ginger....wilted with hot oil. Cilantro optional

    1. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Rub with about one to one and a half tsp ofpowdered turmeric and salt. Pan fry till cooked. If you want it spicy, add a little bit of chilli poeder or a smidge of cayenne.

      1. Is it a thin white-fleshed or thicker red-fleshed ray?

        If thin-white, than any skate recipe will do. I usually just dust with seasoned flour & saute in an obscene amount of butter. Then make a quick pan sauce with the butter in the pan by adding in some dry white wine, fresh lemon juice, perhaps a few capers, etc. Sort of like a "Skate Piccata".

        Now for thicker red-fleshed ray, like the Cow-Nosed Ray we get here during the summer months from the Chesapeake Bay, I treat it more like fresh tuna or even beef. It actually looks exactly like fresh tuna, but has a more fibrous texture & definitely benefits from a marinade. It's quite delicious though, & every summer our local Wegmans launches a campaign promoting it, as the Chesapeake Bay folks are trying to decrease its numbers since it's a major shellfish predator.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Bacardi1

          Bacardi, that's almost exactly how I do my skate as well!

          dust with seasoned flour (usually just salt/pepper and maybe cayenne/paprika)

          saute in butter over medium to medium high heat on a SS or cast iron pan

          Add some lemon juice (i don't usually add white wine unless I'm having a glass for dinner)

          Add capers


          1. re: darrentran87

            That's exactly the way I do skate. But I'm giving up on it, unless I catch it myself. Since I hate cleaning them, it means giving it up. I just haven't gotten skate from a market in years that didn't taste or smell of ammonia when cooked.

          2. re: Bacardi1

            Bacardi1, I think you nailed it with that recipe except I prefer a brown butter pan sauce. Just a small detail, but I think it makes a delicious difference.

            1. re: JungMann

              It sounds as though you are describing what I thought about suggesting, Raie au beurre noir, which was the classic preparation in New York 50 years ago. There was also a group of gourmands who decried the need for beurre noir, arguing that it was used because the fish was past its prime and taking on an ammoniac tinge. One of them claimed the best was someplace in either Brittany or Normandy(I forget which), straight off the boat and into the kitchen of the greatest restaurant in the world, the name of which he never revealed. He made it sound like getting into U.N.C.L.E. headquarters through the Chinese Launery with the fake wall. I tend to think he made it up....

            2. re: Bacardi1

              I think its the whiter flesh type. I had something like this in mind actually butter, Capers, Lemon. Sounds good.

              Any unusual suggestions for side dishes?

              1. re: echoclerk

                Well, there's definitely no mistaking the two. White-fleshed ray or skate wings are snowy white like Cod or Flounder. Red-Fleshed ray wings are red like fresh tuna or beef. Big difference.

                As far as sides to go with white-fleshed ray or skate, I like to keep it simple. Usually serve with crisp shoestring fries (your favorite frozen brand is just fine) & a nice mixed green salad. If you want an additional green vegetable, steamed or boiled & drained fresh green beans or asparagus, simply seasoned with butter, salt, & freshly-ground black pepper works; as would spinach sauteed in butter & some sliced or chopped garlic with perhaps a sprinkling of dried seasoned breadcrumbs.

            3. The sauté always sounds good.
              If you want to try something a bit different, sprinkle the wing with Old Bay and grill over charcoal, turning occasionally until done. The Old Bay, texture of the fish, and delicate flavor will produce a crab-like experience.
              An old italian friend used to pickle skate: chop into pieces with cleaver, dredge in salted flour (he insisted on adding yellow food coloring powder to the flour for presentation sake...I say optional), deep fry until cooked, drain. When cool, place in jar (or container) and top up with 1/2 & 1/2 water/white vinegar. Let steep overnight and voila, pickled skate. Quite tasty actually, but better suited as an app than a meal.

              2 Replies
              1. re: porker

                I've never heard of Old Bay. But looking at wikipedia I"m not sure thats what I had in mind.

                1. re: porker

                  That would never work with the white skate wings we get here. They're already removed from their cartilage & have a thinness, texture, & delicacy of filet of Sole. Can guarantee they'd absolutely disintegrate on the grill. And turning? Forget about it.

                2. Floured and Fried in Butter
                  with a Sauce of butter, caper, white wine and lemon juice.

                  served with Roast potatoes and cavolo nero.