As a charity MCS relies on your generous support


MCS Home

Good Fish Guide

Fish of the month recipe for Ray, spotted

Spotted ray in brown butter and Chinese spices

Spotted ray in brown butter and Chinese spices Ray have a very distinctive flavour and texture which can take big flavours spicy or acidic flavours work very well with skate. The two best methods for cooking skate are poaching then finishing by frying briefly in Beurre Noisettee which is simply butter that is fried until it very light brown in colour and the aroma resembles toasted nuts, served with capers Lemon and chopped parsley. Or dipping in seasoned flour and pan fried. Recipe and recipe image supplied by Morrison chef, Jon Coates


900g Spotted ray wing(skinned)
570ml fish stock
85g unsalted butter
1x teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon of toasted coriander seeds crushed
1x Teaspoon of Sichuan Peppers toasted and crushed (both dry spices can be toasted in a pan before cooking and crushed in a pestle and mortar)
1x Star Anise
Juice of1 lime

Serves 4


Wash the skate and divide into 4 even portions. Put the skate into a large saute pan and cover with the fish stock, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer , poach gently for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the stock and dry with absorbent paper, scrape away any skin arrange the skate on a serving dish and keep warm. Pour off the stock from the cooking pan, reheat the pan gently and add the butter melt gently when the butter is foaming add the ginger and the dry spices and fry gently for a couple of minutes. When the butter is a light golden brown remove from the heat cool for 1 minute, add a couple of table spoons of the fish stock and lime juice pour the mixture over the ray while still sizzling serve straight away with stir fried vegetables and Noodles.


Back to fish calendar Download the goodfishguide

Return to top of the page Return to top

Libby Ross

Libby Ross

Libby at sea tagging a Blonde ray Inspired by the coastline of her native Northumberland, Libby Ross undertook an undergraduate degree in Ecology at UEA in Norwich. Dual interests in biogeography and marine ecology led her to completing a year abroad at the University of Auckland, New Zealand where she studied fisheries and aquaculture and spent time working at the Leigh Marine Lab A¢ ‚¬ €œ the worlds oldest Marine Protected Area. A PhD in the links between Upper Ocean and deep ocean biogeography at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton followed. During this time Libby became an MMO appointee on the newly formed Devon and Severn IFCA committee. On completion of her PhD Libby joined Devon and Severn IFCA as Senior Environment Officer and has been happily knee deep in estuary mud ever since. Libby is also the chair of the Association of Severn Estuary Relevant Authorities and sits on the Institute of Fisheries Management Estuarine and Marine Committee.

My connection with seafood

Growing up on the Northumberland coast I watched the decline of the local inshore fishing fleet. I saw first-hand the evolution of bustling small harbours supporting thriving villages to empty moorings and struggling communities and it made a lasting impression on me. Whilst studying ecology at university I spent a year abroad in New Zealand, specialising in marine fisheries ecology and aquaculture and learning about the country forward thinking approach to marine management. After completing a PhD in deep-sea ecology I returned to my first interest in inshore fisheries management. Living in the South West of England now I have some of the best quality seafood in the world on my doorstep and I am enjoying sampling a wide range of locally caught sustainable fish such as gurnard and spotted ray.

Why sustainability is important to me

I am both an avid believer in the need to maintain a healthy marine environment and the importance to coastal communities of having a thriving fishing industry. Working with the inshore fleet has really brought home the message that well-managed sustainable fisheries have benefits for everyone and the environment, the fishing industry and the wider public. Whilst achieving the right balance between social, economic and environmental benefits can be a difficult balance to achieve, through my work as an environment officer for Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (Devon and Severn IFCA) it is exciting to see the increasing number of fisher-led sustainability initiatives. Time and time again these are proven to be the most long-lived. Devon and Severn IFCA is currently working closely with the North Devon Fishermen Association (NDFA); this group of fishermen has been implementing its own safeguards to ensure the sustainability of rays in the Bristol Channel for many years now. Through voluntary protected areas, minimum landings sizes and working alongside scientists, the NDFA has pioneered fisher-led ray conservation. Whilst some species of ray and other shark family members are, quite rightly, flagship species for marine conservation, others can be fished sustainably and it is important that we help consumers to understand this quite complex message. logo

The MCS website uses 'Cookies' to enhance your web experience. Please read our data and cookie policy.
If you do not wish to use cookies please read how to disable cookies. Don't show this message again