Crispy sesame-fried skate with ponzu joyu and grilled cucumber
3 Lebanese cucumbers
2tsp rice wine vinegar
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1tsp toasted sesame oil
600g thick skate wing, filleted – your fishmonger can do this for you (the cartilage can be frozen for making stock)
1 large egg white
1tbsp natural yoghurt
300ml rapeseed or sunflower oil for frying
50g fine polenta
75g rice flour
1tbsp white sesame seeds
4tsp black sesame seeds
For the ponzu joyu
2 strips dried kombu seaweed, halved and rinsed
5tbsp katsuobushi (dried and smoked bonito flakes)
1tbsp yuzu juice
1tbsp rice vinegar
100ml light soy sauce
micro amaranth or small coriander leaves
To make the ponzu joyu, place the mirin and kombu in a small pan and bring to the boil for a minute. Pour into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, cover and chill (overnight is best).
When ready to use, strain the mixture into a bowl or into a jar as it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Halve the cucumbers at an angle lengthways, place in a wide dish and sprinkle with sea salt. Put the rice wine vinegar in a bowl and whisk in the oils.
Add to the cucumber and toss to coat thoroughly.
Heat a ridged griddle pan. When hot, lift the cucumber halves a few at a time allowing any excess mixture to drip back into the bowl to reserve. Sear in the hot pan to create a few stripes, turn over and repeat. Place them back into the reserved mixture once cooked.
Cut the fish into approximately 35g strips. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk the egg white and yoghurt in a bowl until just mixed but not frothy, then add the fish.
Heat the oil in a large wok to about 160C/310F (you may need to adjust the heat between 140C-160C/275-310F so it doesn’t get too hot or too cool).
Mix the polenta, rice flour and sesame seeds and dip the prepared skate pieces into the mixture to coat, 3-4 at a time. Fry for 2-2½ minutes until golden and cooked through (the fish will continue to cook in the residual heat, so don’t over-cook). Keep them warm while cooking the rest of the skate.
Serve the fish pieces with the hot grilled cucumber and ponzu joyu dipping sauce, scattered with micro amaranth leaves.