Life should be delicious

I know there is a certain aversion to eating what some consider either bait or “garbage fish”. That last term bothers me to no end, you know why, because you get people who feels their dogs are on par with humans but they are stubbing their nose on fish because it might be to “ugly” for their taste. Not sure who died and make them God, but I have no such preconceived notions. Neither do i feel a deer is any more “cute” than a cow. They are all God’s creatures and should be respected equally.

Seeing dogfish and skates left to rot in sun by surfcasters particularly gets under my skin, probably because I grew up fishing for them as a child and eating them as often as I could.

That is just my little rant about respecting life in any form but not the 
“meat” of todays blog post. I’ve eaten skate (and dogfish) in “brodetto” all my life, made by my late grandfather. It was  an Italian style fish stew, where my grandpa would simply skin the skate and cooked the meat in large chunks. The way you ate it was to grab a piece with your hands and put it in your mouth and all that would be left in your hand was a cartilage as the skate has no bones.

Of course as I came in America I got shamed into not considering those species “edible” . Lets be real, other than few high end chefs , no one ever recommended skate to me (or you) or even brought it up in conversation when it came to food. Part of me was literally embarrassed that i ate the damn thing. Like I was a savage of some kind.

Funny thing happened. I stopped giving fuck what other people think awhile ago.I even had a pizza few weeks ago that did not taste like something I’d rather feed to livestock (thanks Chef Brian, that was insanely good pizza)  I still get a  funky stares when it comes up that I ran a half marathon few weeks ago, or that i dropped enough $ at Ralph Lauren last week Ralph called me personally to thank me for a donation… it too short, live it to its fullest if you can

I also got into cooking with a lot more purpose last few years. I no longer eat processed food and some of the dishes I’ve created for my family have been well received . So its not surprising when I saw this in a seafood store i said wtf not ? For $5 i can have globs of filets and if they suck, I am out of what ,$5?

Since that day I keep coming back to that store every few weeks and buying more skate wings. My wife was at first “are you sure this shit is good to eat at $1.99 a pound, This they find it on a street?”

Now she is “can we please have more!”

I tried it stuffed with spinach, crabmeat, fried in breadcrumbs but  think my favorite is pan frying in brown butter and splash of lemon just before plating. If you have not tried it, I urge you to try. You might not like the texture or taste ( taste is very mild ) but with the price being what it is, you really cant go wrong. Sure beats $20+for pound of bass

Life should be delicious


here is a 15 minute video we have done with Chef Andrew 7 years ago !!!

8 comments on “Life should be delicious

  1. brichards

    The reason I don’t eat skate wings is because they are a major pain in the @ss to clean (for me anyway). Skinning them and separating them from that blade of cartilage that turns into little tooth picks if you miss it is laborious. But I would totally buy them cleaned. They are in fact delicious.

  2. Andy

    Hey Z!

    I grew up on skate and dogfish too, although I never was that keen on dogfish. But skate in the UK is NO CHEAP FISH! Take a look man –
    I’ll let you work out the cost of that in $’s per lb, but I think you will find it something of a shock. Not only that, it was the cheapest of the 4 or 5 online stores I tried. Some was up to around £28 for a pair of wings!

    So please, let your wife that just because it is cheap for you to buy locally, it is nowhere near that price in the UK! In fact fish over here is pretty expensive, period. Even crappy whitefish and pollack that taste like “dogs sh*t on a bbq”, lol.

    Seriously tho, simple skate wing, pan fried and served with lemon is to die for and anyone who hasn’t tried it because its cheap for you and your country men to buy are missing out on a real treat. Sure, the big onescan taste really strong, but the smaller ones, under 10lb when caught, are delicious 🙂

  3. J Audet

    Wife has made skate wing a few times. If you eat it plain it’s not the best IMO. If you make it part of a dish, it’s great. I’m sure this is fantastic, and yours looks good.

    I love them, but nothing is stranger or more disgusting then eating raw oysters. Or steamers. Or even a lobster which is a giant bug afteral. Or mung fish even- yet these things expensive to CRAZY expensive and seen as fancy.

    So why not skate? It’s all just chains of actin-myosin fibers afterall…just like muscle of any animal…

  4. TedC

    I’ve never tried skate– mostly because I don’t know how to clean one. It doesn’t surprise me that they are good to eat, however. I’m an adventurous eater, I’ll try new food every chance I get.

    “Good Food” is weird. Lobster were “garbage” in early America… considered a better fertilizer than a food. Eating lobster was a sign of poverty. In my opinion, lobster is the most overrated seafood… by far.

    Perhaps the skate hasnt had it’s moment yet? I would love to try it sometime.

    The point you made about leaving fish on the beach to die in the sun really hits me hard– I wish it were a major offense if caught mistreating any wildlife.. We need to treat the sport better than that.

    Great post Z

  5. Albacized

    No, but seriously, if you bleed them an ice them down as soon as possible, they’re pretty good so long as you cut out the bloodline. I’ve even eaten the beating heart out of one while fishing and I liked it.

  6. mark d

    my parents grew up poor and catholic in the bronx. what do poor catholics eat on fridays ? bluefish. we were not poor but my mom served bluefish on fridays a lot. when i was 18 i moved to the outerbanks of n.c and got a job at a fish house. this is where i first learned that bluefish is “trash”. like you i was ashamed to say anything. how silly. i am not ashamed of such things now.

    my favorite part of your book fishing with lures is the beginning when you wrote about fishing with your grandfather and what you guys would eat


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