Saturday, November 18, 2017

slow braised skate wing in sake 紅燒魔鬼魚翼

As soon as I spotted the fresh skate wings at 99 Ranch Market I knew I have to have a piece. While I never cook skate wing successfully before I have very good idea what I would do with it. The piece I picked came in at 2 pounds.

the skate wings on sale that I snapped up; they looked so fresh
I knew I would want to braise the skate in a savory sauce with shiitake mushroom. The rest I would improvise.

I cut it into two pieces so they can fit into a large clay pot

Skate and sharks are relatives and both have no hard bone. I like certain sharks. It is OK to eat sharks but not OK to eat shark fins. Unfortunately because of sharks are poached illegally just for their fins, it becomes almost socially unacceptable to eat sharks now.

I want to make it into a braise dish in a Japanese clay pot (donabe). While I have a variety of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese clay pots, I chose the Donabe for it's elegant beauty.

I coated the skate wings (with skin intact) in a bit of dry flour, and fried in oil to brown the outside. Then I saute some garlic and ginger in the donabe with oil, and then put in the skate pieces. I add a half cup of sake in place of Chinese rice wine which is impossible to find acceptable quality ones in this country. I also add some oyster sauce, prepared shiitake mushroon, and salt and let it braise with the lid on to tender the skate wing. The slow braise also allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat.

when the skate meat is nearly done (tender and penetrated with flavour, I added in a bunch of glutenous flour puffs; I have never use these flour puffs so I have no idea how long to cook them in the savory sauce

The glutenous flour puffs are from Taiwan. They are very light and puffy almost like the foam peanuts for shipping.

glutenous flour puffs

as the bok choy can easily be overcooked they go in last; I made a flour batter to thicken the savory sauce

the moment before the truth

liquid control is most important - hence very concentrated juice

yum! the glutenous flour puffs soak up the savory sauce

this photo captured the unique texture of the skate meat - almost like pork or beef but very tender and smooth

I still have the piece of red grouper in the refrigerator. I would cook it in a similar fashion.

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