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Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Seafood

The term skate is used in Britain to describe almost any member of the ray family or Rajidae; especially the genus Raja. They have flat pectoral fins continuous with their head, two dorsal fins and a short, spineless tail.

In the kitchen, two parts of the skate are cooked as food. Skate wings are the pectoral fins. When skinned, they take the form of a sheet of cartilage separating two layers of fibred flesh. The wings can be cooked in a variety of ways. The simplest is to dust the wing on both sides with seasoned flour and shallow fry fairly quickly. They can also be poached in a court-bouillon. To eat, scrape the flesh off the cartilage with a knife and fork. Skate wings are often served with a caper sauce.

Less commonly seen are skate knobs. Stop giggling. These are balls of flesh from the cheeks of the fish. They are easily and quickly cooked by shallow frying. You can also coat them in breadcrumbs before cooking. Overcome any qualms you have, because they are very tasty.