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Skate Wing: Am I missing something?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So was thinking about ordering some skate wing for the weekend. The only place where I prepared skate wing the sous simply took the two portions on either side of the cartillage off and saute lightly pan seared it. Two cooks of mine both recently swear that skate needs to be prepared before cooking it, one said poach it in wine and another said it needs to be soaked in milk overnight. WTF? I have never heard of preparing skate before cooking, skate wings are not sweetbreads. They said something about skate giving off ammonia smells if you don't prepare it.

 

I have never heard of this before, like I said we treated just like any other fish, no special prep or cooking required. All my common sense is telling me these stories are old line cook tales but is there any truth to this?

post #2 of 14

News to me. Not valid IMO.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 14

Ahhhhhhh but you need to be enlightened grasshopper.

 

Skate wing DOES indeed need to be soaked in lemon. salt, and water with ice.....(depending on what Chef you learned this from)

Skate wing naturally gives off that ammonia smell.

Doesn't mean that the fish has gone bad.

Yes.....to soaking in milk...................

 

Look it up.

post #4 of 14

Yeah, my current chef soaks it in an ice bath with 1% salt content for about 20 minutes or so.

post #5 of 14

If I were to look it up I am sure that I could find sources on both sides of the fences, as is usually the case, with both sides defending their way as the best and only way.

 

My experience is that after breaking it down, I just rinse it off. Wrap it up in a tea towel. Then ice it until service.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Why would fresh skate give off an ammonia smell?
post #7 of 14

Improper handling and processing when caught.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #8 of 14

No....you don't have to soak in milk, lemon, salt, brine, etc. 

 

Sorry to bust peoples bubbles.....simply not necessary.

 

I do brine all of my fish these days......but you dont HAVE to to counter act the ammonia-esque off gas.  That's more a sign of older fish, poorly handled, temp. abused.....

post #9 of 14

I've always had to skin my skate wing. Drop into boiling water for several seconds, then into an ice bath, then remove the skin.

post #10 of 14
Well well here. Skate, like most rays, basicly pee through their skin. If its like super super fresh, like caught and cooked within the half hour, you could probably get away with it. Other than that, needs to be prepared. We do a fair amount of skate.
post #11 of 14

Skates have kidneys much the same as us. The pee or ammonia refered to is due to high levels of uric acid in their blood. If a skate is properly processed, it is not an issue.

 

Have you ever encountered shrimp with an ammonia smell? What was your course of action?

 

My wife grew up in a family of hunters. She didn't think that she liked venison because of it's gamey flavor. The first deer that I shot after we were married was processed and hanging in a walk-in within an hour of being taken. When I cooked it for the first time she was amazed that it didn't have a gamey flavor and discovered that she actually likes venison when it is properly processed.

 

Skate doesn't have to come with an ammonia smell. If it does, I refuse it.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #12 of 14

Okay so I looked it up and every discussion about skate wing suggests soaking it in accidulated water to get rid of the ammonia smell

post #13 of 14

DEon't know where these gentlemen worrked before .  Amonia aroma is given off in almost any seafood , in particular ones with shell or bones when they ARE  BAD and should be thrown away.  As far as soaking in milk many people do this when they are working with a strong oily fish to tame down tast a bit. Some think it keeps fish white? I do not agree

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #14 of 14

I remember going to the coast years ago with my parents, my  mother bought a whole skate off the fisherman as he unloaded his catch of the day.  He said this fish is too fresh to eat now you will have to keep it for at least three days, we didn't know what he meant exactly, However my Mother ignored the fisherman's advice and cooked it that very day. It was inedible because it tasted strong of ammonia. The moral is, Listen to the professionals..

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