Eating non-native lionfish is good for the environment
Yes, people do eat lionfish and they are delicious! … and eating lionfish is great for several reasons:
Eating non-native lionfish is good for the environment. It is the ultimate in responsible seafood selections because removing lionfish helps our reefs and native fish stocks recover from environmental pressures, lionfish predation and overfishing. Eating non-native lionfish into extinction would, in this case, be a very good thing.
Eating lionfish is a healthier choice than most other fish commonly served in restaurants like snapper, grouper, dorado, wahoo, amberjack, tunas and billfish. Lionfish have been shown to be higher in heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, lower in saturated fats and heavy metals such as mercury.
Red lionfish and the Devil Firefish cannot currently be farmed and commercially cultivated, when you eat lionfish you are supporting local fishermen and divers who recognize the danger to their livelihoods, are practicing sustainable fishing methods and making smart decisions!
Eating lionfish means that you are putting money back into the local economy, joining an important cause and supporting worthy people!
Lionfish is a white flaky fish, firmer in texture than halibut, no “red line” with a flavor profile somewhere between a thin grouper fillet and mahi mahi (dolphinfish or dorado depending upon where you live) with a touch of butteriness.
Lastly, what good would going through all of the trouble to get lionfish if you didn’t know how to best prepare them? A general rule is that any of your favorite recipes or cooking methods that works well with any other white-meat fish will work wonderfully with lionfish as well. The most common ways to eat lionfish seem to be in ceviche, fried or raw, sushi or sashimi-style; my favorite is to eat lionfish sashimi – it needs little else than a bit of wasabi and soy sauce for my taste. Why not get creative though???
Posted in Vitual Lionfish Hunting lodge: http://lionfish.co/
Here is a collection of some of our favorite Lionfish Recipes:
From The Lionfish Cookbook by Tricia Ferguson and Lad Akins
- 8 wonton wrappers*
- 1/2 cup oil
- 8 lionfish fillets
- 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce*
- 2 tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce*
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
*Items can be found at Asian markets.
Preparation: Place oil in a small frying pan and heat oil until hot. Place one wonton wrapper in at a time. Cook briefly until it starts to bubble (approximately 10 seconds). Turn over and cook another 10 seconds. Remove and drain on kitchen towel.
Put wasabi mayonnaise into a squeeze bottle and set aside. Combine sweet soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and soy sauce together in a bowl and set aside. Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Cook lionfish fillets in skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until flaky and tender. Cut or flake lionfish so it is in small pieces. Toss lionfish in soy sauce mixture.
Place lionfish on wonton wrappers, top with seaweed salad and drizzle with wasabi mayonnaise.
Courtesy of Tricia Ferguson and Lad Akins of The Lionfish Cookbook
- 8 Lionfish fillets
- 1 tomato
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers
- ½ onion
- 8 limes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Preparation: Dice fish into 1-inch pieces and place in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, juice the 8 limes. Add the limejuice to fish and marinate 1 ½ hours.
Dice the onions, tomatoes, and scotch bonnet peppers, and add to fish mixture. Stir in salt and cilantro. Cover and place back in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and serve.
Castaway’s Wreck Diver
Courtesy of Castaway Waterfront Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Marathon Key, Florida
- 42 ounces lionfish fillets, patted dry
- flour (for coating)
- 5 cloves garlic, diced
- 2½ cups chopped tomatoes
- 5 tsp. capers
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 T. chopped fresh basil
- parsley or kale for garnish
- lemon wedge for garnish
Preparation: Dredge fillets in flour to lightly dust. Place in sauté pan with small amount of hot butter over medium heat. Cook first side, careful not to burn.
Turn over fish when golden, and reduce heat while adding garlic, tomatoes, capers, white wine and lemon juice. Cover to hold steam in and cook until fish is fork-tender. Add basil and serve immediately. Garnish with sprig of parsley or kale and lemon wedge.
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