The boy has taken up fishing, and while I do applaud hobbies that are productive and practical, I wish he would stop bringing sea monsters home. His first catch was a 22-lbs halibut, which was terrifying. The picture he took of it before he got home didn't have anything in the background to give me perspective, so when I rounded the corner of our house after he had it laid out, I pretty much screamed and ran back in the house. They look like aliens! His second catch? This 37-lbs stingray. Seriously, WTF? Can't he bring home some Dungeness crab or a nice little striped bass?
Our friend, the boy's fishing partner, graciously filleted the wings for us. Quick Googling turned up with French recipes for skate with browned butter, and also a bunch of unappetizing facts about stingrays, like how they secrete urea through their skin, so you have to process these suckers and use the meat fast. We decide to make the brown buttered recipe. The taste of the fish was fine, but it was chewy.
What to do with chewy fish? Asian fish cakes seemed like the obvious choice. I made two versions: one Korean and one Thai (I omitted the white pepper from the Korean recipe and added two tablespoons of Thai red curry paste).
Both versions were delicious, although we need to work on our deep frying technique. The cakes were bouncy, just like they were supposed to be. I have three tubs of fish paste in the freezer now that I can fry up and add to noodle soups and stir-fries. However, we mutually agreed that a stingray is on the "catch and release" list from now on. It was a lot of work for very little meat.