A member of the same family as sharks, skate have no bones their skeleton is comprised of cartilage. The pectoral fins, the wing-like sections that protrude on each side of the body, are the only edible portion of skate. The wings are removed form the fish and iced immediately after landing. The flesh should be pearly white and translucent with hues of pale pink.
Like shark, skate carry a natural metabolic product called urea in their flesh. If skate are not iced soon after landing, the harmless urea will impart a strong odor of ammonia - a clear sign of poor handling. If a slight ammonia smell exists, it can be removed by soaking the skate in water mixed with lemon for 30 minutes.
Each wing consists of two separate meaty layers of flesh separated by a layer of cartilage. Whole wings weigh from one-third to three pounds and yield about 65% of their weight in meat. Skate is available both frozen and fresh, most commonly in the form of whole, skinless wings and sections of wings.
This mildly flavorful fish seems to gain its delicious shellfish-like sweetness from its diet of clams, mussels and other mollusks. Because the flesh has no bones there are no bones to pick out when preparing or eating skate.
One 3 ounce serving has 35 calories, 1 gram of fat, 21 mg of protein and 90 mg of sodium. Figures are not available for cholesterol and omega-3 fatty acids.
The cartilage dividing skate wings helps hold the flesh together as it cooks. Skate should be cooked with the flesh still attached to the cartilage. After cooking, the delicate, easy-to-flake-flesh is readily removed. Commonly poached and steamed, skate can also be pan-fried, broiled and grilled with delicious results. The delicate flavor of skate lends itself well to lively flavor from capers, lemon, toasted nuts, ginger and fresh herbs.
Simply Seafood Summer 1995
Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 08-23-95
Random recipe of the day