Must-Try: the delicious, deadly chili stingray at Hawker Bar
In Southeast Asia, the plentiful fish known for wielding its venom-tipped tail with unholy accuracy is a typical market stall lunch. In Toronto, it’s the kind of exotic specimen you order on a dare. Chef Alec Martin at Hawker Bar serves it exactly as you’d find it in Singapore: char-grilled until it’s black with a bit of crunch, then baked in a banana leaf for maximum juiciness. The fish arrives at the table, cartilaginous skeleton intact, like a hand with dozens of thin phalanges fanning outward. An inch-thick layer of delicate white flesh easily scrapes off the frame into a voluptuous pile that resembles pulled pork in texture and scallops in taste. When twirled with a bit of sambal—all chili kick, shrimp paste pong and ginger burn—the shreds meld into a terrific umami mess. $18.