Skate Wing With Brown Butter

Skate wing with brown butter on a plate

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
676 Calories
53g Fat
18g Carbs
29g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 676
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 53g 68%
Saturated Fat 22g 109%
Cholesterol 170mg 57%
Sodium 828mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 307mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.

Ingredients

  • 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 ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  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 wings on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  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.

    Butter in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Skate wing in flour on a white plate

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  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 in a pan with butter

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Transfer the skate wings to the baking sheet and place in the warm oven.

    skate wings on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  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.

    butter in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  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.

    Butter and wine in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Skate wing with brown butter with chives

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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.

Tips

  • 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.