Ray Wing, Tartar Sauce and Oven Chips – I’m a lucky man.

Ray with oven chips and tartar sauce (12 of 12)“How..”, I hear you ruminate, “…can the baldy little man consider himself to be lucky?” It’s true, I do face as many challenges in my life as the next guy (or gal). But, this time, the ball broke the right way and my ship came in (if you will pardon me mixing my metaphors so blatantly). I had taken a weekend off. I really was just not in the mood to plan and cook a meal. I hadn’t the enthusiasm to get the camera out and really didn’t fancy writing anything new. I was on the couch and I was staying there. 

My prostrate (I need to be careful how I spell that one) body was in rest mode so I decided to have a look back over my photos and to put them into some order. That’s when the row of bells came up on my slot machine. There amongst the folders of shots was ‘Ray Wing Tartar Sauce and Oven Chips’. “When did I post that one?” I realised that I had done all the heavy lifting a couple of months ago and had completely forgotten to post the delicious recipe. So, better late than never, here’s what you will need:

A bird never flew on one wing. These rays will never flap again....

A bird never flew on one wing. These rays will never flap again….


For the fish

  • Ray wings
  • Seasoned flour
  • Oil for frying

For the oven chips

  • Potatoes (floury variety)
  • Some rapeseed oil or similar for roasting

For the tartar sauce 

  • 250 ml of good mayonnaise
  • A big handful of gherkins
  • A big handful of capers
  • 2 shallots
  • A lemon
  • A big bunch of fresh parsley
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and black pepper to season

For the tartar sauce, plop the mayonnaise into a big bowl. Chop the shallots, gherkins, capers, parsley.

Chop them as small as you would like to find them in your tartar sauce.

Chop them as small as you would like to find them in your tartar sauce.

Throw them into the bowl. Half the lemon and squeeze about half the juice of a half into the bowl. Splash in a few drops of tabasco.

Just enough to give it a kick. A small kick. Think of the capers.

Just enough to give it a kick. A small kick. Think of the capers.

Mix this lot and put it in the fridge while you go out to buy a lottery ticket or to bet on a horse, dog or on two flies walking up the window. You are lucky today! Slice the potatoes into chunky chip sizes and boil them for about ten minutes.

The chips will be really crispy if they get part boiled first.

The chips will be really crispy if they get part boiled first.

Lay them out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season and bake in the oven at 200º C on fan for about 15 minutes. Heat some oil in a frying pan. Dust the fish in seasoned flour and fry on both sides until cooked. Drain on kitchen paper. If you are lucky enough to have some nice asparagus, take a photo of it.

Lucky to have some beautiful asparagus on hand. This was a very lucky day.

Lucky to have some beautiful asparagus on hand. This was a very lucky day.

Steam the asparagus while the fish is cooking. Serve the fish with the oven chips and asparagus. don’t forget a big dollop of the delicious tartar sauce.

Lucky to have had such a delicious meal. Lucky now to have forgotten it.

Lucky to have had such a delicious meal. Lucky now to have forgotten it.

If you are lucky enough to have a nice drop of white wine, you know what to do. I really do count myself lucky to have enjoyed this delicious dish. Remember though, they say you make your own luck….

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Latest comments
  • I ate aile de raie au beurre noire on the quayside at La Rochelle yesterday lunchtime…perfect…you’ve prepared a wonderful version yourself…I never thought of it breadcrumbed with chips…excellent:)

    • It is an undervalued fish in my humble opinion. Enjoying it on the quayside sounds like a very good plan indeed.

  • That looks delicious! I always find my oven chips disappointing, I usually go without rather than frying.

    • A decent flowery potato and parboiling makes all the difference.

      • I never knew spuds for chips needed to be floury. I certainly do learn something every day. Traditionally I wasn’t a fan of the floury spud, even though I was alone in my home town in that respect (my father was a grocer so I knew the form). Reminds me of the sign I saw on another local shop: NEW IN. KERR PINKS. BALL’S OF FLOWER. Possibly the best veggie sign ever.

        • The flouriness (my word) allows the edges to get that bit more crispy and the centres stay that nice fluffy consistency, if one gets it right. I agree, it would be hard to top that sign. ‘Balls of steel’ would not cut it.

          • The nomenclature of the spud is vital. There were only 3 types of spuds when I was growing up: Floury, Soapy, and New. It was imperative for the greengrocer to be able to understand, and sell, in those terms. I knew a guy who sold a soapy spud to a floury customer once. I think he was shot. But on a lighter note, I’m really looking forward to taking your advice on the chips.

  • I think the breadcrumbs improve the ray wing and your oven chips look fabulous 🙂

    • Damn. I must try that sometime! 😀

      • Ha ha – sorry, I thought you had breadcrumbs on there, as did Roger by the look of his comment. It looks bloody good regardless 🙂

        • Thanks MD. I thought Roger mistook it. I thought you were winding that up. Now I apologise both for my comment and my misleading cookery.

          • No apologies necessary 😉

  • Your ray and chips has cast my poor home made chicken pie into the shade. It looks fabulous. Tomorrow I must go out to the fishermen’s co-operative at the harbour and see what has come in off the boats. It won’t be ray, but there will be something extremely tasty…

    • The thought of a home made chicken pie is pretty appealing to me right now. The problem is your home is on the diagonal opposite side of the world from mine. I will just have to make my own.

      • It was pretty good, though I say so myself. Chicken thighs, onion, mushroom, the smallest slug of dry sherry, some cream, some sage and thyme, and an egg wash on the puff pastry.

        • Thighs are best for that sort of thing. Lots of flavour. Love the sherry thought.

  • This looks good Conor. I had to look up what a ray wing was. We have no access to that here on the west coast of the US. What does this taste like? Is it fishy? ^..^

    • It has a very unusual formation. The wing is made up of long thin muscles that radiate out from the body. This gives it a string like appearance though, if cooked correctly, they are divine. A treat in store when you come visit us!

      • I look forward to sharing that at your table! 🙂

  • Beautiful, golden wings. Great plate of food.

  • This fish not available here. But you and my husband 🙂 – chips (finger chips called here) gluttons!
    But I must agree, they do look delicious and I am sure taste fantastic. Guess what I have to make later for him?? Right!!!!!! Good night.

    • You should prevent him from reading the blog. Then, he would never know…..

      • Cant do that, Conor. I managed for him to understand Irish humour 🙂 🙂 – and btw, your blog is one of the only 2 he looks at, honest.

        • Then please apologise to him for my rudeness. I should be more thoughtful!

  • Lucky indeed! I’m not a huge fan of tarter sauce but I like your recipe.

    • Thanks Virginia,
      It is mild enough. Many of them would make a grown man cry.

  • Conor, you’ve combined three of my favorite things together–skate, homemade tartar sauce and homemade french fries (although, ironically, the ones prepared as you do here, are called “oven fries” in the US, an oxymoron if I ever heard one). Great simple food! Ken

    • Thanks Ken,
      I can add to the oxymoronic sentiment by calling them Freedom Fries. I do this with trepidation as it is Bastille Day and I am in France…

  • Looks so mouthwatering.

    • Thanks Jahaira,
      And thanks for visiting the blog.

  • Hi Conor,
    That was lucky indeed — I regularly check my collection of photos to make sure I have posted everything. I did that yesterday in fact, and discovered a nice pasta dish that I will post soon.
    Ray is very nice and I should prepare it more often.
    I noticed a discrepancy between your ingredient list, which lists good mayo, and your ingredient shot showing only Hellmann’s?
    Joyeux 14 juillet!
    PS while in France, pick up a bottle of Muscadet, which is great with tartar sauce.

    • Excellent advice. I have some red bought and we are plotting various whites. Some Muscadet could help keep the red white balance. On the Hellmann’s, I have to fess up. However, you did read my thrice whipped mayo post and it was going to be too much trouble, honest!

  • So wishing I was 100km up the road at the famous Sydney Fish Markets – don’t think I could access skate wings closer than that! Agree as to that moreish flavour tho’! So > recipe file for now !!! Do like your earthy Sauce Tartare and shall copy: as I never have mayo in the fridge [yes, Stefan – mine won’t be ‘Hellmann’s’] I’ll have to ‘work’ those extra five minutes to make some from scratch 😀 !!

    • You are both giving me a hard time. I have made it before and will in future not sully the blog with this lesser mayo. My humble apologies.

  • I never knew you could eat ray wings! My husband caught a huge ray while we were out halibut fishing last year and I caught a shark!. But we let them both go as I didn’t know the first thing about cooking those two species. (We didn’t catch any halibut but we did haul in a bunch of sea bass and several ling cods.) Your recipes look delicious!

    • Halibut = my favourite fish. It is eye wateringly expensive here and hot available very often. I remember seeing a 2 meter one in a fish shop in Trondheim in Norway. Wonderful place (Trondheim, not the fish).

      • I actually prefer Ling Cod over halibut. It’s a beautiful white fish and not as dry as halibut can be. Halibut can be HUGE!

  • Classic and delicious. I like frying fresh fish in the summer. I’ve done skate wing and find it quite good. I’m a pretty good tartar sauce maker myself but I haven’t done it in years (as per my high school job). Now in really craving this!

    • Amanda, you, Eha and Stefan have, between ye, guaranteed that I will never feature any recipe that contains mayo unless I make it myself. In truth, it’s straightforward but, why the hard time? 🙂

  • Hi. I did just nominate you for the Dragon`s Loyalty Award. You are not obligated to participate, but I felt that you truly earn it. I love your blog: it is well written, the recipes are outstanding and I believe that you are very loyal to all your readers…you take really good care and reply to everybody`s comments…great work!

  • Beautiful dish. Must try some Tabasco in my tartar next time.

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