Salatοuri / Σαλατούρι (Greek Skate or Ray Fish Salad)

Salatouri is a Greek meze, or salad with boiled and flaked ray, or skate fillet (σαλαχι), red onions, parsley, lemon and olive oil. Some like to add fresh dill, capers, or lemon zest as well, but its ingredients usually remain pretty basic. 


The first time I ate salatouri was a couple of years ago at my favorite ouzeri on Naxos and I was instantly smitten. I liked it so much that I still always order it every time I visit the island. But while you can probably find this dish on all of the Cycladic islands nowadays, I’ve read that it’s actually a specialty from Naxos’ neighboring island Paros specifically and that it actually wasn’t always such a popular dish. In the past, salatouri was mainly eaten by the Parian fishermen themselves, whom would simply boil the meat when they would accidentally catch a skate and eat it plain or mixed with only a few ingredients as a meze together with souma (a drink from Paros akin to raki).


Why wasn’t skate popular if it’s so delicious, you might wonder. Well, skate is notoriously difficult to clean because of it’s tough skin and many (cartilage) bones and you actually still don’t find it at the fresh fish markets all that often. When you do find it it’s really worth trying (even better if it’s already been cleaned) as skate is a rare delicacy and its meat is incredibly flavorful, soft and delicate. And since travelling around is quite difficult these days (read: basically prohibited because of national and international lockdowns) many of us probably won’t be able to have salatouri on Paros or Naxos soon, but with the recipe below you will at least be able to bring a little of the Cyclades to your home.

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Salatοuri / Σαλατούρι (Greek Skate/Ray Fish Salad)

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  • DF
Cycladic specialty salad made with skate fish
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Serves:4
  • Freezable:No

Nutrition per portion

  • 450 - 500g skate/ray, weight without bones or skin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ small red onion, or more to taste
  • Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, add to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of salted brined capers (optional)
  • -
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, or other mild mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. If your piece of skate still has skin, you can submerge it in boiling water for a minute or two to make it easier to remove. Remove skin and large bones where possible.
  2. Put the filleted meat in a saucepan together with the bay leaf and a little salt and pepper. Fill with water until the fish is submerged and quickly bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes then drain the fish and leave to cool until safe to touch.
  3. In the meantime, very finely slice the onion and roughly chop the parsley.
  4. Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and some salt and pepper together until well combined.
  5. When the fish has cooled, flake with your fingers and remove the cartilage-like bones if it has any. Add the flaked meat to a bowl or serving plate together with the chopped onion, parsley, salted capers (if using) and the dressing. Toss to combine. Allow flavors to infuse a little for 1 hour up to 2 hours then serve.

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