Just recently I have become a little obsessed with Lionfish. I really never heard about them before. When I saw a picture of them on the Internet, I thought that they were beautiful and scary looking. All that did was spur my interest. I had to find out more about this fish.
As it turns out, lionfish are cannibals that prey on smaller fish and have few natural predators, mainly because of the efficiency of their poisonous spines. They are generally hostile, aggressive and territorial. In other words, lionfish are just plain badass fish with a deeply unpleasant character. It’s an invasive species that devours other fish, destroys coral reefs and reproduces like crazy.
So what to do with the enemy? Eat them! When properly filleted, the naturally venomous fish is safe to eat and delicious.
In my effort to learn more, I ran across an organization called Caribbean Reef Buddy that is based in Carriacou, Grenada. They have a Lionfish Containment Program that encourages catching and cooking this fish. You can even make jewelry with lionfish, who knew?
Lionfish are not native to the Caribbean. They may have been introduced to our waters in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew destroyed an aquarium in southern Florida, releasing six lionfish into Biscayne Bay.
Lionfish are that not easy to find in Florida but it is growing in popularity bit by bit because it is also invading our coast. Read this article for more info.
So let’s eat them – fry, bake, make fish pie and fish cakes and broth, BBQ them to your heart’s content. Be careful when preparing them though, because of the spines, there is really an art to it.
Here is how to fillet Lionfish
*ALL photos courtesy of Caribbean Reef Buddy*