Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (2024)

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Hank Shaw

Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (1)

Hank Shaw

Hank Shaw is a James Beard Award-winning food writer and author of four cookbooks. He has expertise in wild foods and has written over 1,000 recipes.

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Updated on 01/8/24

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Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (2)

Skate are bottom-dwelling fish that look like a cross between a flounder and a stingray. These fish are a member of the ray family and​ cousin of sharks, with pectoral fins that are so large that they appear to be wings; hence the name "skate wing." However, most people never realize the resemblance to a wing, as skate wing is usually purchased skinned and filleted.

Skate wing has long been a favorite in French cuisine and is becoming increasingly popular with American chefs as they discover its mild, sweet taste and succulent flavor. Saltwater anglers catch lots of skates while looking for other fish, and they are perfectly tasty once you skin them, remove the tough centerline of cartilage, and cook them gently. If you're new to cooking this fish, be sure not to overcook them or they will become rubbery. You need to cook for only a few minutes until the flesh is opaque and starting to flake.

This French-inspired skate wing with brown butter recipe keeps things simple but delicious so the flavor of the skate can truly stand out. Besides, brown butter makes everything taste better.


  • 4 skate wings, about 1 1/2 pounds, filleted and skinned

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, or as needed, for dusting

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (3)

  2. Set the oven to warm or the lowest temperature. Have a baking sheet or oven-safe platter ready for the fish. Remove the skate wings from the refrigerator and salt lightly. Let stand for 15 minutes.

    Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (4)

  3. Heat a skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan.

    Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (5)

  4. Meanwhile, dredge the skate wings in flour and shake off the excess.

    Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (6)

  5. Fry in the butter over medium heat, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Be careful when turning the fish, as their odd muscle structure makes them difficult to flip without breaking.

    Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (7)

  6. Transfer the skate wings to the baking sheet and place in the warm oven. Depending on the thickness of the fillet, you may need to bake at 350 F to make sure it's cooked through about 5 - 10 minutes. Careful not to overcook it because it gets rubbery.

    Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (8)

  7. Add the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Cook over medium heat until the butter is light brown in color. Keep a close eye on the pan as this will not take too long, and you don't want the butter to burn.

    Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (9)

  8. Add the wine to the skillet (it will splatter, so be careful). Scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan and cook off the alcohol, about 2 to 3 minutes.

    Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (10)

  9. Plate the fish and pour the sauce over the skate wings. Garnish with the chives and serve immediately.

    Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (11)

How to Serve Skate Wing

Skate wing with brown butter goes well with simple rice dishes or mashed potatoes, but if you want to keep with the French inspiration why not try a gratin dauphinoise recipe, a rich baked dish of potatoes, milk, cream, egg, and cheese.

A glass of nice white wine is the perfect match for this skate in brown butter. For the perfect wine pairing, try a Sancerre or a Greek Assyrtiko.


  • When butter burns, it turns a dark brown; however, brown butter should be a light brown color. It is important that you stop cooking once the butter begins to change color and not after, or else the sauce will be ruined. It will smell a bit nutty as it browns.

How to Store Skate Fish

Like most fish, skate fish will keep for 2 or 3 days, maximum, if covered in the refrigerator. Reheat gently, covered in foil, in the oven, or over low heat in a skillet with a little more butter.

23 Easy Fish Fillet Dinner Recipes

Recipe Tags:

  • chicken wings
  • entree
  • french
  • valentine's day

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Skate Wing With Brown Butter Is a Quick and Easy Fish Recipe (2024)


What is a skate wing fish? ›

Skate — also known as skate wing — is a mild, succulent fish that is part of the ray family. Skate gets its name from the pectoral fins that resemble wings. The tender flesh resembles strands as it cooks, and the flesh has a mildly sweet flavor, similar to scallops.

What is a good substitute for skate fish? ›

If you can't find skate wing fillets, other white-fleshed fish – sole, flounder, halibut or ocean perch, for instance – may also be used.

How much skate wing per person? ›

Our fresh skate wings range in weight from 300g which will serve one person, up to 700g which will serve two. Rays are common in the waters around Dorset and are sustainably caught by our local fleet of day boat netters. Seasonality: All year. Cook skate exactly as you would a flatfish, like plaice or lemon sole.

Is skate wing good to eat? ›

It really is quite delicious. It has a mild flavor and a semi firm texture. Basically just the “wings” are eaten and they have a lot of soft cartilage which gives it a unique richness. One classic preparation is to saute it in brown butter, capers, lemon and parsley.

Can you cook skate from frozen? ›

You can skip the thawing process altogether and cook frozen fish straight from the freezer. You'll have to add a few minutes to the cook time in your recipe to account for the lack of thawing, but you can poach, steam, bake, broil, or grill fish straight from the freezer!

What does skate wing fish taste like? ›

The flavor of skate is mild yet distinctive, sometimes compared to scallop or crab. Skate wings have a high collagen content, which can give a nice, gelatinous texture when cooked. Because of its mild flavor, skate is quite versatile.

Is skate a good fish to eat? ›

Yes, you can cook stingray and skates. As unappetizing as they look, and as weird as their anatomy seems, stingrays (skates too) aren't much harder to clean than your usual table varieties. And, yes, they make delicious dinners.

Is skate wing expensive? ›

£6.50 / Portion or £12.99 / Kg

Skate wings have long thin sections of juicy flesh either side of a simple bone.

Does skate taste like cod? ›

Skate Wings:

These sound a bit different, but are a very yummy alternative to cod! Skate wings taste sweet and mild like a lot of popular white fish and are a great choice for your fish and chip takeaway.

Can you eat skate fish raw? ›

Unless you go to French restaurants, skate fish (hongeo, 홍어) is not easy to find at restaurants here in America. It's really not a common fish here. In Korea, skate is a very popular fish! It's eaten in many ways — raw, fermented, steamed, pan-fried, spicy, mild, etc.

Is skate wing tasty? ›

Skate wing is delicious, with a taste similar to scallops, and has a unique, firm texture due to a high collagen content in the fillet. This also makes it incredibly moist when cooked, with a lovely springy mouthfeel.

How do you eat a skate wing? ›

Ripert's advice for those who have never tried skate: “Eat it in a good restaurant first, then see if you like it. You will realize it's delicious.” With a small amount of hot oil in the pan, skate wing fillets will brown and crisp nicely on their own without a coating of flour.

What does skate taste like? ›

“Because of its texture, taste and handsome appearance, you can't go wrong with any accompaniments and/or sauce to match with the fish. Its flaky, crabmeat-like texture tastes like a succulent white fish with a nutty flavor like crab.

What does skate wing come from? ›

Skate Fish Description (Rajidae)

Their “wings” are composed of multiple strips of flesh separated by strips of cartilage. Size varies greatly by species with the largest Skate reaching weights up to 200 pounds, but average commercial size is about 8-10 pounds whole fish.

Where does skate wing fish come from? ›

Skates are primarily found from the intertidal down to depths greater than 3,000 m (9,843 ft). They are most commonly found along outer continental shelves and upper slopes. They are typically more diverse at higher latitudes and in deep-water.

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