Ever wondered how a sting ray arrives at your plate when you’re looking at scallops? This might give you an idea. Basically some restaurants have pursued rays or skates as big game. Back in the days, scallops were seasonal, and sting rays were not yet endangered species. Now some specimens can still be harvested in certain regions. Some say that fishing for a ray is easier than cleaning and looking for scallop. This is why some serve these in their food outlets as “Deep Sea Scallops” when in fact it is the cheaper version, the sting ray. It is quite surprising, however the industry still manages to get sting ray without being fined as long as that harvest does not belong on the endangered list.
- What you need. A cookie cutter, or a 1 ½ inch metal steel pipe of 8 inches in length, a file and a hammer.
- Steps to clean a ray. Go to your nearest fish monger and inquire if they have any stock of stingray. A big skate goes a long way. Take note that the meaty part is in the wings. Have the fish guy open up the skate by cutting through the center, and avoiding the cartilage. Have these wings skinned as doing it on your own can prove to be difficult. Remember too that the farther the meat is from the spine, the tougher the meat will be.
- Taste and versatility. The stingray has a sweet smell and taste much like scallops. The texture is also identical. Wing meat is very tender as long as it is cut near the spine. Others state that skate is smoother, has longitudinal lines. Apart from this, stingray is fleshier than your standard scallops. Other things to consider when taking in sting ray is when it is being cooked, a scallop will retain its moisture, while the skate can break apart dry. The wing part of a skate shows its muscles in striations. This is a way in which you can detect them from real scallops that do not possess visible lines in their muscle.
- Making the scallops. With a cookie cutter, hammer into the skinned wings of the ray. If you want a cleaner shape, you can do so by preparing a 1 and a half inch steel pipe. File the edge of this to make a sharp cut. This pipe will serve as the pattern to imitate the round shape of deep sea scallops. You may do this with or without the skin. Trim off once done.
- Recipes for skate. The real deal with sting rays is that it is close to the taste and texture of the scallop. However, when it comes to cooking, there is not comparison that can be made since what matches the scallops, works for the skate meat. Baking, grilling or pan fried in butter serves up a great dish.
Some say is better to make scallops out of sting ray if you are
protecting the environment. As long as there is no contention that one
is on the endangered list. They say in catching the skate, you must have
it processed immediately within half an hour after death. This is
because skates will smell of ammonia since their bladders reek of this
when not in buoyancy for which they are naturally built. Commercial
fishermen process skate in a few hours time. Now that you know the
difference between the scallops of the sea and the scallops from sting
rays are you still ready to serve and have it served in your platter?
This is a something to definitely chew on, in dealing with a seafood
treat that is rich in comparison but still great in taste.