I was in the fish section at the local supermarket this morning. There was a pile of fish that looked really delicious. So I asked the attendant what it was. He told me it's skate wings. Having never had it before I asked him for a piece. It was really cheap. Cheaper even than the hake. When I asked him why he said it's that people don't know how to cook it, so they don't like it, so it does not sell well.

Being the first time I cook this fish, I really don't want to mess it up. What's the best way to cook it?

  • If you've ever had fake scallops, you've had skate.
    – Sean Hart
    Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 14:04

7 Answers 7


skate benefits from very, very fast cooking and perhaps a very light breading--flour or cornmeal only, not breadcrumbs. classic accompaniments are lemon, brown butter, and capers.

beyond that, I'd google for recipes. Delia Smith had a particularly lovely one in her Summer Collection book, released in the late 80's.

  • 1
    Isn't skate the same as ray? Contains a lot of cartilage? Commented Aug 7, 2010 at 22:30
  • It does. One eats the meat in between the bits of cartilage (if sold bone on) or just the meat (if not). I imagine one could take the bones, deep fry them, and make crackers..
    – daniel
    Commented Aug 8, 2010 at 5:47

I cook skate wings on the Barbie so no fish smells in the house. Take a wing, rub in some oil, butter or margarine over each side, wrap in silver foil sealing well. Place over a moderate heat and cook for five mins then turn over for another five mins. Care must be taken to keep all seams closed and the fish will steam fine in all its juices. Remove and put on a plate keeping foil still on, open and check thick end is cooked. I like to add a drop of fresh pepper and eat with a hot bread roll and butter from the Barbie too.


I just coat with flour; for less carbs, you can use whole wheat flour.

To prepare it, heat your pan to medium, use about a quarter inch of extra virgin olive oil to coat the pan. This fish cooks fast; about two minutes per side so keep an eye on it! When done, drain on a paper towel to soak up excess oil. If you like scallops, this resembles scallops and is very tender and flaky; try it and you will be hooked!

  • 2
    I don't know if 1/4" of oil would be called "coating" the pan
    – mfg
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 18:17

Well the classic preparation is to fry them in butter for a 2-3 minutes on each side and then stir some capers through the now browned butter and pour over the fish. Another way is to poach it gently in some court bullion for around 8-10 minutes and make the brown butter sauce separately.


I found a good resource over at Beyond Salmon
here's a summary of the main points:

  • skate turn out best with the cartilage still attached and connective tissue removed
  • cook using direct heat in a skillet
  • cook twice as long per side as you would another fish of similar thickness

    They are also very delicious when grilled on the barbecue.


    It does not - repeat: does not - cook fast. It takes about twice as long as a finfish the same size. The reason for this is that it is in fact a ray.

    Milk bath, then dredge through flour (a few tablespoons will do), pan fry on medium heat or above for 3 or 4 minutes, flip and put in 350° F oven for another 5 or until the meat flakes of the bones and the edges are crisp.
    Or, if you are a professional, poach, but even the best chefs can have trouble poaching this without experience.

    The good news: it's forgiving when pan fried


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