Serves 4

There’s some wonderfully thick skate about at the moment. I love to fillet it from the soft cartilage frame, cut it into strips or goujons and deep fry it. To atone for that sin (I am a short fat cook, the type you can trust!) I like a crispy salad with a vaguely eastern dressing to complete the dish. The salad and dressing ingredients look scarily long – just make it with whatever you have. You’ll see the recipe as written in one picture and our latest supper of this dish in the others. Do try this, it’s a real treat of a dish.

Print the recipe here

Beremeal coated skate with celery, peppers, carrot, cucumber and onion in the salad

Salad:

• 1 small celeriac

• 2 carrots

• 2 sticks celery

• 1/2 cucumber

• 5cm piece fresh root ginger

• 1 clove garlic

• 3 tbsp sunflower oil

• 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

• 2 tbsp soy sauce

• 1 tsp poppy seeds

• 800g-1kg ray or skate wing

Skate:

• 1 large egg white

• 3 tbsp double cream

• 100g flour – or Orkney Beremeal if you have it

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder

• 1 tsp ground ginger

• Oil for deep-frying

My original dish, with exactly the salad listed above

1. Prepare the vegetables. Grate the carrot and celeriac coarsely by hand, or on a medium plate on a food processor. Seed the cucumber, then slice it and the celery finely.

2. Coarsely grate the ginger with the skin, then gather it up in your hand and squeeze the juice into a large bowl. Crush the garlic into the bowl, then add the oils, soy sauce and poppy seeds and whisk into a dressing. Add the vegetables and toss together.

3. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180C. Cut the fish from the bones and then into 2.5cm pieces. Whisk the egg white and cream together in a bowl until combined, then rub the mixture into the fish. Mix the flour or beremeal and seasonings together on a plate.

4. Coat the fish in the flour, then gently lower the pieces into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Do this in two batches so that the pieces of fish do not stick together and the oil does not loose its temperature. Drain the fish well on crumpled kitchen paper, then serve on a bed of the salad with a few flakes of salt sprinkled over.

Did I mention a little courgette in the salad too? Anything crunchy, shredded or thinly sliced, will do.

Top Tips:

• If you don’t have a fryer use a wok with a good depth of oil in it, and scoop the fish out of the oil with a slotted draining spoon.

• Use a cube of bread to check the oil temperature if you don’t have a thermometer – if it browns quickly when dropped into the hot oil, sizzling immediately, the oil is ready to fry the fish.

• Fry the fish at 180C, as above, if you do have a thermometer.

• I’m not a great fan of batter and seasoned flour is my favourite coating for frying.

• If you haven’t got cream use thick Greek yogurt, creme fraiche or soured cream with the egg white.

• Wiggle the basket in the fryer as you add more fish – it helps to prevent it all sticking together.

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