It’s not a joke! Skate knobs (or cheeks as they are sometimes referred to) are not often seen in the fish mongers these days, but they are well worth ‘fishing’ out if you can find them. They are basically very succulent pieces of lean muscle removed from the body of the Skate when the more common wings are being prepared – unfortunately a lot of the time the knobs are discarded, which is criminal! It’s time for the renaissance of Skate knobs! Ask your fishmonger for some.
I’ve sourced mine from the famous Osbourne Bros fishmongers in Old Leigh-on-Sea where they sell a huge selection of lovely fresh fish and also have a takeaway hut where you can enjoy fresh caught seafood overlooking the Thames Estuary.
Stir fry’s are a great way to get a tasty, healthy kick during the week when cooking time is precious. You can pretty much use any veg in my opinion. Here I am using mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage and some red chilli, topped with fresh coriander. Same goes for the fish but I find white, fleshy fish works best for coating in breadcrumbs and frying, if you can’t get hold of the Skate.
This dish serves 2 and takes 30 minutes.
Breaded Skate Knobs with Sweet Chilli Sauce & Vegetable Stir Fry – here’s what you need:
Skate knobs/cheeks x6-8 – remove any skin and the small bone that is sometimes along one side. If you’re using other fish, cut into 1-2 inch chunks.
Breadcrumbs – enough to coat all the fish. You can use any bread you like or even dried breadcrumbs if you prefer.
Chinese 5 Spice.
Cooking oil – approx 250ml or enough to deep fry the fish.
Small wok or frying pan to fry the fish.
Any vegetables of your choice – sliced/chopped.
Medium egg Noodles – dried or fresh – enough for two people or however many you are cooking for.
Ground nut oil – 1 tablespoon. You can use normal cooking oil or olive oil if you don’t have ground nut.
Dark soy sauce – 1 tablespoon.
Fish sauce or oyster sauce – 1 teaspoon for fish sauce or 1 tablespoon for oyster sauce.
Chinese Rice Wine – 2 teaspoons. If you don’t have this then you can use some Sherry!
Toasted Sesame oil – to drizzle over at the end – about 1 tablespoon should do it.
Sweet Chill Sauce – 2 tablespoons.
Large wok or frying pan.
Saucepan to cook the noodles if using dried.
Breaded Skate Knobs with Sweet Chilli Sauce & Vegetable Stir Fry – here’s what you need to do:
1. Heat the cooking oil in the small wok/small frying pan to 180°C ready to fry the fish.
2. Meanwhile, add a sprinkle of sea salt and half a teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice to the breadcrumbs then coat the fish in the breadcrumbs and leave to one side – the natural moisture on the fish should be enough to make the breadcrumbs stick but if not you can add a little oil to the fish first.
3. Heat the large wok over a high heat and add the ground nut oil. Add all the vegetables and stir. Then add the soy sauce, fish sauce, Chinese rice wine, half a teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice and a tablespoon of water.
4. Whilst the vegetables are cooking, cook the noodles (if dried) and then add them to the wok and mix well with the vegetables using two forks and tossing like a salad.
5. Fry the breaded fish in two batches for 5 minutes each batch or until the breadcrumbs have turned golden, ensuring the fish is cooked through. Drain the fish on some paper towel.
6. Serve the vegetable noodles into a bowl, followed by the fried fish and then drizzle the sesame oil and sweet chilli sauce over the top. Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander and enjoy!