#alien adventures: Hungry? Try Skate Wings – looks alien, but it’s delicious

So during the extended Easter break I (re)discovered my inner Juliet Childs. For some inexplicable reason, I had an overwhelming urge to cook skate wings. I was first introduced to this delicious fish whilst waiting tables at a swish restaurant in London (never underestimate the life lessons you learn from waiting tables). If you’ve never had the pleasure, do yourself a favour and head to your local fishmonger (the one in Dunkeld West centre is rated as one of the best in Jozi). A fishmonger will clean and fillet the fish for you into easy-to-handle wings, which is just as well as the fish looks like a mutant stingray from Mars.

Scary looking, no? Real alien food.

But don’t be put off. This is what your fish monger will do, and this is what you eventually use…and an entire wing, which will yeild 2 portions will cost you around R20(!) Perfect gourmet recession fare.

What to look for at the fishmonger - the unscary version

Cooking them is a breeze. Season with salt, then dust with flour and pan fry – about 4 minutes on each side – and don’t overcook, as with any fish. The classic skate recipe calls for a brown butter/caper sauce (which basically means you heat butter till it goes nut brown, throw in a splash of red wine vinegar and a handful of capers…couldn’t be simpler). If you need to follow a recipe, try this one: http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/528957

Your end result should look like this:

Eating a skate wing is the easiest part. Like a sole, the flesh is light and juicy and has no pesky bones. There is flesh front and back with just a fan like cartilage in the middle. You merely scrape the flesh off, and dip into your butter/caper sauce. Best served with boiled new potatoes and a simple green veg (like asparagus) or salad. Wash it down with a dry white wine.

Cook it to impress a loved one, and he/she will think you’re a culinary genius.


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