Skate with "Black" Butter

4 Reviews
100% would make this recipe again

The wing-shaped pectoral fins are the edible part of a skate. Their boneless flesh is firm, white, and sweet, not unlike that of scallops. In France they are poached, then served with «black» butter, i.e. butter cooked over low heat until dark brown (not black) and flavoured with a few drops of wine vinegar.

Skate having been placed on Greenpeace's red list, please replace it with lobster or shrimp.

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Preparation : 10 min Cooking : 15 min
250 calories/serving


500 g skate wing, skinless, or shrimp
1/4 cup wine vinegar 65 mL
6 leaves fresh sage 2 g
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
1/4 cup butter, unsalted 60 g
2 tbsp capers 20 g
1 Belgian endive (Witloof) [optional] 150 g
40 g Parma ham/Prosciutto [optional] 3 1/2 slices


  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting to keep the cooked skate warm until serving. This step is important to prevent it from becoming sticky and jelly-like.
  2. Wash the skate in water with one spoonful of vinegar to remove its natural ammonia odour. Pat-dry the fish, then put it in a saucepan and cover it with cold water. Pour in 2 tablespoons vinegar and the sage leaves. Season with salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 12-15 min. It is important to keep the saucepan at just a gentle boil to prevent damaging the delicate flesh of the skate. Check with a fork to see if the fish is cooked through: its juice must be colourless.
  3. Lift the skate out of the saucepan using a slotted spatula or a skimmer, then place it on a serving plate. Cover the fish loosely with aluminum foil or another plate and set aside in the oven.
  4. Melt the butter in a frying pan over high heat until it becomes brown (a little darker than the "hazelnut" stage). Immediately remove the pan from the heat to prevent the butter from burning, otherwise it will taste burnt and be difficult to digest. Add the remaining vinegar and the capers. Put the pan back on the heat and bring to a quick boil. Pour the sauce over the skate and serve right away.
  5. For a nicer presentation and more sophisticated taste, melt a small quantity of butter in a skillet, add the optional chopped endive and prosciutto, and then sauté 2-3 min. Serve them on top of the skate.

Nutrition Facts Table

per 1 serving (200 g)


% Daily Value




18 g

28 %

Saturated 10.9 g
+ Trans 0.9 g

59 %


130 mg


300 mg

13 %


1 g

0 %


1 g

3 %


0 g

Net Carbs

0 g


22 g

Vitamin A

16 %

Vitamin C

2 %


7 %


9 %


This recipe is :
Free  :
Excellent source of  :
Vitamin B12
Good source of  :
Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K
Source of  :
Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B2, Vitamin D, Vitamin E
Low  :
Calories, Sodium


1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to :
Food Group Exchanges
Vegetables 0
Meat and Alternatives 3 ½
Fats 3 ½

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4 Reviews (4 with rating only) 100% would make this recipe again

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  • I replaced oregano by rosemary and it turned out great
  • use my large pan with the copper bottom
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